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The late Mr. RICHARD LLWYD, when he revised Mr. WYNNE'S 
History, and compiled the Topographical Notices which are now 
appended thereto, had also an intention of entering at some length 
into the Biography of Owen Glyndwr, and of giving a sketch of 
the ancient Laws, Customs, and Amusements of Wales. The 
publication, however, of Mr. Thomas's Life of Glyndwr, and the 
appearance of several excellent essays, fyc. in the Cambro-Briton 
and various periodical works on the other subjects alluded to, 
having rendered it unnecessary to re-state that which had been so 
recently brought before the public, he, in the present volume, 
confined himself to the republication of the History of Wales, as 
given by Mr. WYNNE, contenting himself with modernising the 
language, supplying notes of reference, and occasionally intro- 
ducing notes explanatory or corrective of Mr. WYNNE'S text. To 
this revised edition of the History, he added a selection of 
Topographical Notices relative to the several Counties, which, 
while they are calculated to amuse and inform the reader, will 
also be found to throw much additio?ial light on the history and 
manners of the Cambro-Britons of former days, and give at the 
same time a tolerably correct view of the present state of the 
Principality. To enable him to make these notices more copious, 
and to do so without augmenting unnecessarily the price of the 
work, Mr. LLWYD omitted some appendages formerly attached to 
r. Wynnes History, but which, while they were in themselves of 
nature to be of little interest at any period, have now, by reason 
of the facts therein referred to having been of late years much more 
clearly elucidated by writers in publications of very general circu- 
lation, become obsolete and disregarded. It is, therefore, hoped, 
that the present edition of the HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION OF WALES 
will be favourably received; and that the good intentions of its 
deceased compiler will be accepted as an apology for any errors or 
omissions that may be discovered by the historian, the antiquarian, 
or the topographer. 

JANUARY, 1832. 



W HEN the Roman empire, under Valentlnian the 
younger, began to decline, and became sensibly unable 
to repress the perpetual incursions of the Goths, Huns, 
Vandals, and other barbarous invaders, it was found neces- 
sary to abandon the remotest parts of that unwieldy body, 
and to recal the Roman forces that defended them, the 
better to secure the interior and the provinces most exposed 
to the depredations of the barbarians. And in this exigency 
of the Roman affairs, Britain, as lying far remote from the 
heart of the empire, was deprived of the Roman garrisons ; 
which, being transported into Gaul upon more urgent 
occasions, left it naked and exposed to the inveterate cruelty 
of the Scots and Picts : for no sooner had they understood 
of the departure of the Romans out of Britain, and that the 
Britons were to expect no further help from the empire, 
but they descended in greater numbers than formerly, and 
with greater courage and expectation, being now rid of the 
fear they entertained of the Roman legions, who always 
used to hinder their progress and to prevent their incursions 
into the Roman province. The Britons, perceiving their 
ancient and implacable enemies falling upon them, and 
finding themselves far too weak to repel their endless 
devastations, they, with a lamentable narrative of their own 
miseries and the cruel oppressions of their enemies, sent 
over to Gaul, imploring aid of ^Etius, prefect of that 
province ; who, being moved with the deplorable condition 
of their province, despatched over a legion under the com- 
mand of Gallio, which unexpectedly surprising the Scots 
and Picts, forced them, with great loss and destruction, 
to retire over the seas or friths to their own habitations. 
Then, helping the Britons to build a wall of stone across 



the land, for a bulwark against any future irruptions, the 
Romans at their departure told them they could not any 
more undertake such dangerous expeditions for their de- 
fence, and therefore admonished them to take arms, and 
like men vindicate their country, their wives, children, and 
liberties, from the injuries of their barbarous enemies. 

But as soon as the Roman legion was transported into 
Gaul, the Picts and Scots returned, and having by a de- 
sperate assault passed the wall, pursued the Britons with a 
more dreadful and bloody slaughter than formerly. The 
Britons, perceiving their condition most desperate, once 
more sent their miserable complaints to ^Etius, in these 
tragical words : " To SEtius, thrice consul, the groans of 
the Britons : the barbarians drive us to the sea, and the 
sea drives us back to them , and so, distracted betwixt two 
deaths, we are either drowned or perish by the sword.* 
But they solicited to no purpose : the Romans having al- 
ready bid absolutely farewell to Britain, and the empire 
being cruelly oppressed by the Goths and other barbarous 
nations, they were not in a condition possibly to assist them. 
The Britons, therefore, finding themselves absolutely for- 
saken by the Romans, and conceiving it utterly impracticable 
to drive away the barbarians by their own strength, saw it 
urgently necessary to call in the aid of some foreign nation, 
whose labour in repelling their enemies should be gratefully 
and satisfactorily rewarded. 

The reason that the British nation was at this time so 
weak and impotent, and so manifestly unable to withstand 
these barbarous enemies, who were far inferior as to extent 
of country, and probably in number of people, may in great 
measure be attributed to the ease and quietness the Britons 
enjoyed under the Roman government. For whilst the 
Roman legions continued in Britain, they ever undertook the 
security and preservation of it ; so that the Britons hereto- 
fore were little concerned at the incursions of the Scots and 
Picts, depending wholly upon the strength and valour of the 
Romans, insomuch that, within a while, they fell into a fit 
of luxury and effeminacy, and quickly forgot that martial 
prowess and military conduct which their ancestors so 
famously excelled in. For, after their entire subjection to 
the Romans, they had little or no opportunity to exercise 
their valour, excepting in some home-bred commotions 
excited by the aspiring ambition of some mal-eontented 
general, which were quickly composed and reduced to 
nothing. And after the Scots and Picts grew formidable, 

* Bede, lib. 1, cap. xiii. p. 51. Gildas, cap. xvii. Giraldus Cambrensis, lib. 7, p. 42. 


and durst venture to make incursions into the Roman pro- 
vince, the Britons were the least concerned in opposing 
them, leaving that to the care and vigilancy of the Roman 
garrisons. And this easiness and supineness of the Britons 
may not be untruly attributed to the policy of the Roman 
constitution ; for when the Britons were brought subject to 
the empire, the first thing the Romans effected towards the 
confirmation of their obedience was to take the sword out of 
their hands. They were sensible how bold and valorous 
the Britons naturally were how unlikely to submit their 
necks to a foreign yoke ; and therefore they found it imprac- 
ticable to obtain a quiet possession of this province, as long 
as the Britons had power and opportunity to oppose them. 
This course, therefore, they found very effectual, and when 
they had once lulled them asleep, they were not over- 
solicitous to rouse and awaken them. 

The Britons also might possibly be too much taken with 
this sedentary and inactive life ; and as long as they lived 
secure under the protection of the Roman empire, they 
little feared their country would become a prey to any 
barbarous nation. No one would have imagined that that 
glorious empire would be so soon crushed to pieces, which 
could not otherwise be effected than by the insupportable 
pressure of its own weight. The apprehension of the great- 
ness and strength of the Romans made the Britons probably 
less solicitous of enabling themselves to defend their coun- 
try, not thinking they would ever forsake and relinquish the 
province of Britain : but to their sorrow they experienced 
the contrary, the affairs of the empire elsewhere requiring 
the help of the British legions, so that they were left 
exposed to the cruelties of the northern invaders, having 
not as yet recovered any power or conduct to oppose them. 
For had not the Scots and Picts come on so forcibly at first, 
but had given time to the Britons to shake off the lethargy 
they had for many years been buried in, and to renew their 
ancient discipline and vigour, there had been no need of 
calling in the Saxons, seeing they would in all probability 
have been able to maintain their ground against any opposi- 
tion, and very likely would have been in possession of their 
whole country to this time. But, next to the decree of 
heaven, the ruin of the British nation must be attributed to 
its too much luxury and effeminacy, and to the universal 
lapse of the nobility and people into an aversion of all 
military action and martial discipline. For though a con- 
tinued peace be in itself desirable, yet oftentimes nothing 

B 2 


tends more to the future ruin and downfall of a nation. 
For peace begets in men generally a habit of looseness and 
debauchery, and is the occasion of many notorious extra- 
vagancies and vicious practices, which weaken their hands 
and cool their courage and greatness of mind, so that in 
case of any open danger they are incapable of defending 
their country, and unfit to oppose the common enemy. 
Scarce any kingdom or nation was subverted, but the ruin 
of it was ushered in by these means : witness the Assyrian 
under Sardanapalus, the Persian under Darius, and the 
Egyptian under Cleopatra ; so that it was most prudently 
urged by a Roman senator that Carthage might not be 
demolished, lest that, for want of an enemy abroad, the 
valour of the Romans might degenerate, and their conduct 
be forgotten. Had the Britons had the fortune to be con- 
tinually in action, and not exchanged their courage and 
discipline for ease and laziness, they would have had no 
reason to dread the incursions of the Scots and Picts, nor 
any need of the aid and assistance of a foreign nation ; but 
the condition of their affairs then required it, and help must 
be had, or else their country must unavoidably become a 
prey to those northern invaders. 

To prevent, therefore, and repel their violence, King 
Vortigern held a council of his great men and nobles, at 
which it was concluded to be most advantageous to the 
Britons to invite the Saxons out of Germany to their aid, 
who, in all probability, would gladly embrace the oppor- 
tunity, by reason that their own country was grown too 
scanty for their superfluous numbers. This message of the 
Britons, however originally delivered, is by an ancient 
Saxon writer repeated in this manner : " Most noble 
Saxons, the miserable Britons, shattered and quite worn 
out by the frequent incursions of their enemies, upon 
the news of your many signal victories, have sent us to 
you, humbly requesting that you would assist them at 
'this juncture. A land large and spacious, abounding 
with all manner of necessaries, they give up entirely to 
your disposal. Hitherto we have lived happily under 
the government and protection of the Romans'. Next to 
the Romans we know none of greater valour than your- 
selves, and therefore in your arms do now seek refuge. 
Let but that courage and those arms make us conquerors, 
and we shall refuse no service you shall please to impose 
To this message the Saxons returned this short answer : 
fc Assure yourselves the Saxons will be true friends to 
the Britons, and as such shall be ahvays ready both to 
relieve their necessities and to advance their interest" 



The Saxons being thus happily courted to what them- 
selves had a thousand times wished for, arrived soon after 
in Britain, in three gallies, called in their own language 
Kiules, under the conduct of two brethren, Hengist and 
Horsa.* Being honourably received by the king, and 
affectionately treated by the people, their faith was given 
on both sides ; the Saxons stipulating to defend the country 
of the Britons, and the Britons to give the Saxons a satis- 
factory reward for all the pains and dangers they should 
undergo upon their account. At first the Saxons shewed 
themselves very diligent in their employment, and success- 
fully repelled the Scots and Picts, who, being probably 
ignorant of the landing of the Saxons, and fearing no oppo- 
sition, boldly advanced to the heart of the country. But 
when the Saxons became better acquainted with the island, 
and happily discovered the weakness and inability of the 
Britons, under pretence that their pay was not answerable 
to their service and deserts, they quarrelled with the Britons, 
and, instead of siipporting them according to oath, entered 
into a league with their e-nemies the Scots. Moreover, 
Hengist, perceiving with whom tie had to do, sent over to 
acquaint his countrymen with the beauty and fertility of the 
island, and the infirmity and effeminacy of the inhabitants ; 
inviting them to be sharers of his future success and ex- 
pectations. With his invitation they readily complied, and 
sailing over in great numbers they thought to take posses- 
sion of that country, which fortune promised should be their 
own : but they found that they must fight for it first ; the 
Britons having resolved to defend themselves and their 
country to the last against these treacherous practices of the 
Saxons, and, if possible, to drive them to their primitive 
habitations. For when the Britons became sensible of the 
undermining aim of the Saxons, how they secretly endea- 
voured the total extirpation of the British nation, they 
presently betook themselves to their swords, and in a short 
time became signally famous for their valour and conduct. 
This the Saxons afterwards grievously felt, though the total 
recovery of Britain proved impracticable for want of power; 


* These were princes of great distinction. They were the descendants of Woden, the 
founder of the nation, and regarded by the Saxons as the deity who presided in war, 
agreeably to the custom of the early ages, of paying divine honours to any distinguished 
individual who had been the instrument of glory or of utility to his country. From 
Woden is derived Wednesday, being the day dedicated to the honour of that Saxon 
deity : Friday, likewise, is derived from the Saxon goddess Fria, being the day dedicated 
to her worship. And in the same manner every other day in the week has taken its 
derivation from the Saxon deities. See Verstegan, cap. iii. p. 69, 77. Bede, lib. 1, 
cap. xv. p. 53. 


the Saxons having, by massacres and other treacherous 
means, most unmercifully lessened the force and number of 
the Britons. King Vortigern loved his ease too well to 
observe their practices, and besides became so foolishly 
enamoured with the daughter of Hengist, who purposely 
was laid to entrap him, that the Saxons upon the strength 
of this marriage began to carve for themselves, and during 
Vortigern's reign* laid so firm a foundation for the Saxon 
conquest, that the succeeding British kings, though famously 
valiant, could never undermine it. The sottishness of his 
father young Vortimer could not at length endure, nor to 
see himself and his country so openly and shamefully 
imposed upon by strangers, and therefore he resolved to 
take the British government upon himself, and to endeavour 
the universal expulsion of the Saxons. With him the 
British nobility willingly joined, and after several famous 
victories over the Saxons he was unhappily poisoned by a 
Saxon lady. After his death the Britons bravely defended 
themselves against the prevailing greatness of the Saxons, 
under those valiant princes, Aurelius Ambrosius, Uther 
Pendragon, Arthur, Constantine II. Aurelius Conanus, 
Vortiper, and Maelgwyn. To him succeeded Careticus ; in 
whose time the Saxons, aspiring to a total conquest of 
Britain, invited over one Gurmundus, a Norwegian pirate, 
who had lately signalized himself in Ireland, and obtained a 
conquest over that kingdom. Him they employed to march 
against Careticus, who being overcome and vanquished by 
him, the Britons were forced some to retire beyond the 
rivers Severn and Dee, some to Cornwall, and the rest to 
Little Britain (or Britanny), in France. The British affairs 
were now brought very low, and their government reduced 
within a very narrow compass; so that the title of the 
Kings of Britain can be but superficially attributed to the 
succeeding princes, Cadwan, Cadwallon, and Cadwalader. 


* Fabian, p. 79. 

This prince had by his first wife three sons, Vortimer, Catigern, and Pascensj and he 
bad one son named Faustus, it is said, by his own daughter. 



C/ADWALADER, surnamed Vendiged, or the Blessed, 
was the last of British race that enjoyed the title of King 
of Britain; after him, the Welsh, who were the most AD. 678. 
numerous remains of the Britons, disdaining to own any 
subjection to the oppressing Saxons, set up a new govern- 
ment among themselves, and altered the style of British 
Kings to that of Princes of Wales. But whilst Cadwalader 
ruled in Britain, a severe famine, attended with a raging 
pestilence, which assuredly sprung from the continued war 
which was so eagerly carried on betwixt the Britons and 
Saxons, happened in the island, and occasioned a most 
lamentable mortality among his subjects ; insomuch that he 
was compelled, together with a great number of his nobility 
and others, to retire for refuge to his cousin Alan, King of 
Llydaw, or Little Britain in France. There he met with A 
all civility suitable to his quality and condition, as well 
because of his own near relation and consanguinity to Alan,* 
as upon the account that their subjects were originally one 
and the same people : for the inhabitants of Little Britain, 
about the year of Christ 384, went over out of this island, 
under the command of Conan, Lord of Meriadoc, to the 
aid of Maximus the Tyrant, against the Emperor Gratianus. 
For this service Maximus granted to Conan and his fol- 
lowers the country of Armorica, where the Britons, having 
driven out the former inhabitants, seated themselves, and 
erected a kingdom, which lasted for many years under 
several kings, whose names and succession are as follow : 


1. Conan Meriadoe. 13. Conobertus. 

2. Gradlonus. 14. Budicus II. 

3. Salomon I. 15. Theordoricus. 

4. Auldranus. 16. Ruhalhonus. 

5. Budicus I. 17. Daniel Dremrost, i. e. 

6. Howelus Magnus. rubicunda facie. 

7. Howelus II. 18. Aregstanus. 

8. Alanus I. 19. Maconus. 

9. Howelus III. 20. Neomenius. 

10. Gilquellus. 21. Haruspogius. 

11. Salomon II. 22. Salomon III. 

12. Alanus II. 


* Baker's Chron, p. 4. J. Fordun's Hist. Scot. Gale's Scriptor. p. 647. 


Alan II. reigned in Little Britain, when Cadwalader was 
forced to forsake his own dominions, and retire beyond the 
seas. He was descended from Run, the son of Maelgwyn 
Gwynedd, King of Great Britain, by a daughter married to 
Howel the Second, King of Little Britain. This kingdom 
remained firm till Salomon III. was treacherously slain by 
his own subjects; upon which unhappy occurrence, the 
kingdom was converted to an earldom, whereof one Alan 
was the first, a valiant and warlike prince, who stoutly 
resisted the Normans, and frequently vanquished and over- 
came them. 

But after Cadwalader had continued some time with 
Alan, the plague being abated in Britain, he purposed to 
return, and, if possible, to recover that part of his kingdom 
which the Saxons were now in possession of* He received 
frequent intelligence of their number and increase, how they 
fairly bid for the conquest of that country which had been 
governed by British kings for the space of 1827 years. 
This troubled him exceedingly, and though he had little 
hope of prevailing by the strength and number of his 
forces, yet he made the best preparation that the oppor- 
tunity would permit, and despatched his fleet for the 
transportation of his army, which consisted partly of his 
own subjects, and partly of such succours as he received 
from Alan. Whilst he vigorously prosecuted this design, 
and was ready to strike sail for Britain, his voyage was, 
it is said, prevented by a message from heaven, which 
counselled him to lay aside the thoughts of recovering his 
kingdom, because it was already decreed above that the 
Britons should no longer enjoy the government of Britain, 
until the prophecy of Merlin Ambrosius was fulfilled. And 
instead of a voyage to Britain, he was ordered to take his 
journey to Rome, where he should receive holy orders at 
the hands of Pope Sergius, and instead of recovering the 
British crown, have his own crown shaved off, and be 
initiated into the order of the monks. Whether this vision 
was signified to him in a dream, or by the impositions 
illusions of some wicked spirit ; or whether it may be a 
fantastical conceit of his own, being a man of a mild and 
easy temper, wearied with troubles and miseries, is very 
dubious : but this is certain, that he never returned again 
to Britain, after he had gone over to Alan. Cadwalader 
had no sooner received this vision, but immediately he 
relates the whole to his friend Alan, who presently consulted 


* Baker's Chron. p. 4. Welsh Chron. by Caradoc of Llancarvan, re-published by Dr. 
Powel, p. 3. 


all his prophetical books, chiefly the famous works of the 
two Merlins, Ambrosius and Sylvestris : the first is said to 
have been begotten on a spirit, and born in the town of 
Carmarthen, whence he received the name of Merlin, and 
to have flourished in the reign of King Vortigern. The 
latter, called Caledonius, from the forest Caledon in Scot- 
land, and Sylvestris or Merlin Wyllt, because he fell mad 
and lived desolately after he had seen a monstrous shape 
in the air, prophesied in the time of King Arthur, and far 
more full and intelligible than the former. Both these were 
in great reverence and reputation among the Britons, and 
their works very rigorously preserved, and upon any con- 
siderable occasion most reverently consulted. They were 
of opinion that nothing could escape their knowledge ; and 
that no accident of moment or revolution could happen 
which they did not foretel, and which was not to be dis- 
covered in their writings. In the consultation therefore of 
their prophecies, and the words which an eagle is said to 
have spoken at the building of Caer Septon, now Shaftesbury, 
namely, that the Britons must lose the government of Britain 
till the bones of King Cadwalader were brought back from 
Rome, Alan found out that the time was now come when 
these prophesies were to be accomplished, and Britons 
forced to quit their native inheritance to strangers and 
invaders. Upon this he advised Cadwalader to obey the 
commands and follow the counsel of the vision, and to hasten 
his journey for Rome. This he was willing to submit to, being 
desirous to spend the remainder of his days in peace and 
quietness, which before he had no opportunity to enjoy. To 
Rome therefore he hastened, where he was kindly received 
by Pope Sergius : and, after eight years spent there in piety 
and devotion, he died in the year 688, and with him the 
kingdom and total government of the Britons over this island. 
King Cadwalader is said to have been a considerable 
benefactor to the Abbey of Clynnoc Vawr in Arvon, upon 
which he bestowed the Lordship of Grayanoc. This place 
was primarily founded by St. Beuno, to whom it is dedicated, 
who was the son of Hywgi ap Gwynlliw ap Grlywis ap 
Tegid ap Cadell, a Prince or Lord of Glewisig, brother's 
son to St. Cadoc ap Gwynlliw, sometime Bishop of Bene- 
ventum, in Italy. He was by the mother's side cousin- 
german to Laudatus, the first Abbot of Enlli, or the island 
of Bardsey, and to Kentigern, Bishop of Glasgow, in Scot- 
land, and of Llanelwy, or St. Asaph, in Wales; which last 
was son to Owen, a Prince of Scotland, and grandson to 
Unen Reged, King of Cumbria. The building of a 



monastery at Clynnoc happened on this occasion : Beuno 
having raised to life, as the tradition goes, St. Winifred, 
who was beheaded by one Caradoc, a lord in North Wales, 
upon the account that she would not yield to his unchaste 
desires, became in very great esteem with King Cadvan, 
who bestowed upon him certain lands whereon to build a 
monastery. Cadwallon also, Cadvan's son, gave him the 
lands of Gwaredoc, where beginning to build a church, a 
certain woman with a child in her arms prevented his 
further progress, assuring him that those lands were the 
proper inheritance of that child. Beuno was so exceedingly 
troubled at this, that without any more consideration on the 
matter, taking the woman along with him, he went in all 
haste to Caer Seiont, (called by the Romans Segontium, 
now Carnarvon,*) where King Cadwallon then kept his 
Court; when he was come before the king, he told him, 
with a great deal of zeal and concern, that he had not done 
well to devote to God's service what was another man's 
inheritance, and therefore demanded back of him the golden 
sceptre he had given him in lieu and consideration of the 
said land, which the king refusing to do, was presently 
excommunicated by Beuno, who thereupon departed and 
went away. But a certain person called Gwyddeiant, the 
king's cousin-german, hearing what had happened, imme- 
diately pursued Beuno; whom, when he had overtaken, 
he bestowed upon him (for the good of his own soul and the 
king's) the township of Clynndc Vawr, being his undoubted 
inheritance; where Beuno built a church, about the year 
616, about which time King Cadvan died, leaving his son 
Cadwallon to succeed him. And not long before this time, 
Eneon Brenin, or Anianus, King of the Scots, a considerable 
prince in the North of Britain, leaving all his royalty in 
those parts, came to Leyn in Gwynedd, where he built a 
church, which is still called from him, Llan Eingan Brenin ; 
where he is said to have spent the remainder of his days in 
the fear and service of God, He was son to Owen Danwyn, 
the son of Eneon Yrth, son to Cunedda Wledig, King of 
Cumbria, and a great prince in the North, and cousin- 
german to the great Maelgwyn Gwynedd, King of Britain, 
whose father was Caswallon-law-hir, or the long handed,f 
the brother of Owen Danwyn ; and his mother Medif, the 
daughter of Voylda ap Talu Traws, of Nanconwy. This 
Maelgwyn died about the year 586. 


* Caer-yn-ar-von ; the city opposite Mona. HunfFrey Lhuyd, p. 65. 
t Rowland's Mona Ant p. 183. 



Y? HEN Cadwalader was departed for Rome, Alan 
began to reflect upon the state and condition of Great 
Britain ; he imagined with himself that the recovery of it 
was not impracticable, but that a considerable army might 
regain what the Saxons now quietly possessed. Therefore 
he was resolved to try the utmost, and to send over all the 
forces he was able to draw together ; not doubting the con- 
quest of some part of Britain, in case the whole should 
prove irrecoverable. He was the more encouraged to this 
expedition, by reason that the advantage was like to be his 
own, and no one could challenge the government of Britain, 
in case fortune should deliver it to his hands. Cadwalader 
was gone to Rome, and in all probability never to return : 
his son Idwal Ywrch, or the Roe, was young and under the 
tuition of Alan, so that the event of this expedition must of 
necessity fall to himself, or by his concession to his son 
Ivor, who was to be chief in the undertaking. Having 
raised a considerable army, consisting chiefly of his own 
subjects, with what remained of the Britons that came over 
with King Cadwalader, he despatched it for Britain, under 
the command of his son Ivor, and his nephew Ynyr : they 
safely landed in the western parts of Britain, which put the 
Saxons to so great a fright, that they immediately drew up 
all their power to oppose them, and to hinder their progress 
into the country. The Britons, though somewhat fatigued 
with their voyage, gave them battle, and after a very great 
slaughter of the Saxons possessed themselves of the countries 
of Cornwall, Devon, and Somersetshire. This proved a 
fortunate beginning for the Britons, and gave them great 
hopes of farther success in the recovery of their country ; 
but that could not be expected without great opposition, 
and several hot engagements with the Saxons. This they 
were immediately made sensible of; for they had scarce time 
to breathe, and to recover their spirits after the last battle, 
but Kentwyn, King of the West-Saxons, marched against 
them with a powerful army, consisting of Saxons and 
Angles. The Britons resolved to fight them; but whilst 
both armies were in view of each other they thought it more 
advisable to cease from any hostility, and to enter into 
articles of composition. Ivor seemed already satisfied with 
his conquest, and willingly agreed to marry Ethelberga, 
Kentwyn's cousin, and peaceably to enjoy for his life so 



much as he was already in possession of. This he faithfully 
observed during the reign of Kentwyn and his nephew 
Cadwal, who, after two years, resigned the kingdom of the 
West- Saxons to his cousin Ivor. And now Ivor was become 
unexpectedly powerful, being King as well of the Saxons 
as of the Britons that inhabited the westeni parts of the 
island. He was now able to undertake somewhat consider- 
able, and therefore began to fall foul upon his neighbours, 
the kings of Kent, of the West-Saxons, and Mercia, whom 
he vanquished in several battles. But being at length tired 
with the weight of government, he went to Rome, after the 
example of Cadwalader, and resigned the rule of the Saxons 
to his cousin Adelred, leaving the Britons to the care of 
Roderic Molwynoc, the son of Idwal Ywrch. 

This Ivor founded the Abbey of Glastonbury, called in 
the British tongue Ynys Avalon ; wiiere there had been a 
Christian church for several years before, and the first that 
was ever erected in Britain. For Joseph of Arimathea 
being sent by Philip the Apostle in the days of Arviragus, 
An. Chr. 53^ to preach the Gospel in Britain, seated him- 
self here, and built a church for the British Christians. 
This chur ; ch afterwards Ivor .converted into an abbey, which 
he endowed with very large possessions ; being famous for 
the burying-place of Joseph of Arimathea* and King 


* Whether the ancient tradition of Joseph of Arimathea, who might then well transport 
himself into Britain in one of the Phoenician ships that frequently traded for tin, and to 
carry with him the first tidings of Christ, has any foundation in truth (not heeding the 
Glastonbury story), is uncertain. Yet it seems very probable that that honourable per- 
son, soon after the ascension of Christ, conveyed himself away from the Jewish sanhedrim, 
of which he was a member, to some remote country, for fear the Jews should question 
him about Christ's body, which he had buried, but which had risen up from the grave he 
had laid it in : which must be a fear well grounded, and a just occasion of his'withdrawing 
himself somewhere out of their reach. And that he'di'd so is very likely ; for a person of 
his character and merit, if he had staid in Judea during the ten succeeding years after the 
resurrection, would in all probability have met with an eminent mention even in Scrip- 
ture, either for his death or his conduct in propagating the gospel. Rowland's Mona 
Antiqua Re,staurata, p. 138. 

Glastonbury derives its origin (says Camden) from Joseph of Arimathea, the same who 
buried Christ's body ; who, when he came to preach the gospel in Great Britain, as it is 
asserted he 'did by the Romish legends, he landed in the isle of Avilon, fixed his staff in 
the ground, (a dry thorn sapling, which had been his companion through all the countries 
he had passed), and fell asleep. When he awoke, he found to his great surprise that his 
staff had taken root, and was covered with white blossoms. From this miracle, however, 
he drew a natural conclusion, that, as the use of his staff was thus taken from him, it was 
ordained that he should take up his abode in this place. .Here, therefore, he built a 
chapel, which, by the piety of succeeding times, increased into this magnificent foundation. 
But of these edifices, a small part of the great church of the abbey, fragments of Saint 
Joseph's chapel, the abbot's kitchen, and some unintelligible and dilapidated walls, a're 
all which now survive. 

Gibson, in his additions to Camden, folio 78, says From hence let us go alopg wi,th 
Mr. Camden north. west to Glassonbury, where, among other curiosities, he mentions the 
budding of a hawthorn-tree on Christmas Day. The tree has been cut down these many 
y'ars ; yet there are some still growing in the county from branches of that, as particu- 
larly one in the garden of William Stroud, Esq. possessor of the ground where the other 
stood, another in the garden of the White Hart Inn, in Glassonbury." 


Arthur. He bestowed also some lands upon the church of 

But there happened several casualties in his time. 
Brythe, a subject to Egfride King of Northumberland, 
passed over to Ireland, and wasted and destroyed a great 
part of that kingdom. In the fourth year of his reign there 
happened a remarkable earthquake in the Isle of Man, which 
much disturbed and annoyed the inhabitants ; and the year 
following it rained blood both in Britain and Ireland. This 
occasioned the butter and milk to resemble the colour of 
blood; and two years after the moon also appeared all 
bloody. These accidents of nature might presage some 
tumults and disturbances in the kingdom ; which were very 
great in his time. For he was almost in perpetual hostility 
with the Kings of Kent, West-Sex, and Mercia ; which 
occasioned great bloodshed and slaughter in Britain. His 
journey to Rome put an end to all these commotions, from 
whence he never did return, but ended his days there in 
the practice of piety and religion. 


I HE Government of the Britons Ivor resigned to Roderic 
Molwynoc, the son of Idwal Ywrch, who began his reign 
An. 720. But Adelred, King of the West-Saxons, was A.D. 720. 
displeased that Ivor had not bestowed upon him his whole 
kingdom ; and upon that account he resolved to trouble 
and plague Roderic and his Britons. He raised immedi- 
ately a powerful army, and with all his forces marched to 
Devonshire, which he destroyed with fire and sword. 
From thence he proceeded to Cornwall, intending to make 
that country sensible of the same misery ; but he came far 
short of his expectations, for upon his entrance into the 
county the Britons opposed him and gave him battle, where 
he was vanquished and forced to retire with all speed to his 
own dominions. This victory the Britons called Gwaeth 
Heilyn, from the place where this battle was fought. The A.D. 721. 
year following, the Britons again obtained two notable 
victories over the Saxons ; the one at a place called Garth 
Maelawc, in North Wales, the other at Pencost, in South 
Wales. But the joy and satisfaction which the Britons 
entertained of these successes, were somewhat abated by the 
death of Belin, the son of Elphin, a man of noble birth, and 
great worth among them. 



About the same time Celredus King of Mercia died, and 
was succeeded by Ethelbaldus, who being very desirous to 
annex that fertile and pleasant country lying between the 
rivers Severn and Wye to his Kingdom of Mercia, entered 
Wales with a puissant army. He destroyed and ravaged 
the country before him to Carno, a mountain lying not far 
from Abergavenny,* where he was met with by the Britons, 
between whom a bloody and sore battle was fought in the 

A.D.728. year 728, but the victory proved very dubitable. 

Not long after died the venerable Bede,f who was edu- 

A.D. 733. cated and brought up in the Abbey of Wyrnetham or larewe ; 
a man of great learning and extensive knowledge, who wrote 
several books, one of which, entitled, the Ecclesiastical 
History of the English Nation, he dedicated to Cleolwolfe 
King of Northumberland. The same time Adelred King of 
the West-Saxons, and Ethelbald King of Mercia, united 
their forces, and jointly marched to fight against the Britons. 
The Welsh were now put to very hard straits and forced to 
oppose the numerous armies of two powerful kings. How- 
ever, fight they must, or suffer their country to be miserably 
over-run by their inveterate enemies. Both armies being 
engaged, a very dismal battle ensued thereupon, and a very 
great slaughter happened on both sides ; but the Saxons 
prevailing by the number of their forces obtained a very 
bloody victory over the powerless Britons. But Adelred, 
who was shortly followed by Edwyn King of the Picts, did 
not long survive this battle ; and Cudred took upon him the 
government of the West-Saxons. The Welsh found them- 
selves unable to cope with the Saxons, and too weak to 
repress their endless incursions, therefore they applied them- 
selves to Cudred and joined in league with him, who, upon 
some occasion or other, had actually fallen out with 

A D 746 Ethelbald King of Mercia. But Ethelbald was so proud 
with the success of the last engagement, that notwithstand- 
ing the league with Cudred, he must needs again fall upon 
the Welsh. He advanced as far as Hereford, J where the 
Britons, by the help of Cudred, gave him a signal over- 
throw, and caused him to repent of his rash and precipitous 
expedition. But shortly after, Cudred and Ethelbald were 
unluckily reconciled, and made friends together, and Cudred 
relinquishing the Welsh, joined his forces to Ethelbald's. 
Hereupon ensued another battle, in which the Welsh, being 
greatly overpowered, were vanquished by the Saxons ; after 


* Abergefni. 

t At this time (A. D. 734) died the venerable Bede. Flores Hist. Matth. Westm. 
p. 203. 

t Anciently called Henffordd, or the old road of Englishmen. Humffrey Lhuyd, p. 74. 


which victory Cudred shortly died. To him succeeded 
Sigebert, a man of a loose and vicious inclination, who, A - D - 748 - 
for his ill-behaviour in the management of his kingdom, 
was in a short time expelled and deprived by his nobi- 
lity, and at last miserably slain by a rascally swineherd. 
After him Kenulph was chosen King of the West-Saxons, 
Ann. 750, in whose time died Theodore, the son of Belin, A.D. 750. 
a man of great esteem and reputation among the Britons. 
And about the same time a remarkable battle was fought 
between the Britons and the Picts at a place called Mage- 
dawc, in which the Picts were put to a total rout, and 
Dalargan their king casually slain. But the Britons did 
not succeed so well against the Saxons ; for Roderic Molwy- 
noc was at length forced to forsake the western countries of 
Britain, and to claim his own inheritance in North Wales.* 
The sons of Bletrus or Bledericus, Prince of Cornwall and 
Devonshire, who was one of them that vanquished Adelred 
and Ethelbert at Bangor on the river Dee, had enjoyed the 
government of North Wales ever since Cadfan was chosen 
King of Britain. Roderic, therefore, demanded the govern- 
ment of this country as his right, which he was now willing 
to accept of, seeing he was forced to quit what he had 
hitherto possessed. But he did not long enjoy it ; for he 
died in a short time, leaving behind him f two sons, Conan 
Tindaethwy and Howel, after that he had in all reigned 
over the Britons thirty years. ' 


JiCODERIC Molwynoc being dead, his son, Conan 
Tindaethwy took upon him the government and principality 
of Wales, in the year 755.J He was scarcely settled in his A -- D - 755> 
throne, but the Saxons began to make inroads into his 
country, to spoil and destroy what they conveniently could 
meet with. They were animated thereto by the ill success 
of Roderic ; and having forced the Britons out of Cornwall 
and Devonshire, they thought it practicable to drive them 
out of Wales too, and so to reduce the possession of the 
whole Island to themselves. This was their aim, and this 
they endeavoured to put in execution ; but they were met 


* Rowland's Mona Ant. p. 188. 

f He usually resided at Caer Segont, on the Straits of the Menai, in Caernarvonshire. 
Rowland's Mona Ant. p. 172. 

| Rowland's Mona Ant, p. 188. 


with at Hereford, where a severe battle was fought between 
them and the Welsh, in which Dyfnwal the son of Theodore, 
a stout and valiant soldier, was slain. And shortly after- 
wards died Athelbert, King of Northumberland, and was 
succeeded by Oswald. 

About the same time happened a religious quarrel be- 
tween the Britons and Saxons, concerning the observation of 
the feast of Easter, which Elbodius, a learned and pious 
man, endeavoured to rectify in Wales, and to reduce to 
the Roman calculation, which the Saxons always observed. 
The Britons differed from the Church of Rome in the 
celebration of this feast ; and the difference was this. The 
Church of Rome, according to the order of the council of 
Nice, always observed Easter-day the next Sunday after the 
14th day of the moon ; so that it never happened upon the 
14th day itself, nor passed the 21st. The Britons on the 
other hand celebrated their Easter upon the 14th, and so 
forward to the 20th, which occasioned this difference, that 
the Sunday observed as Easter-day by the Britons was but 
Palm-Sunday with the Saxons. Upon this account the 
Saxons did most uncharitably traduce the Britons, and 
would scarcely allow them the name and title of Christians. 
Hereupon, about the year 660, a great contest happened, 
managed on the one part by Colman and Hylda, who 
defended the rites and celebration of the Br:tons ; and by 
Gilbert and Wilfride on the part of the Saxons. Hylda 
was the niece of Edwine, King of Northumberland, edu- 
cated by Pauline and Aedan. She publicly opposed 
Wilfride and other superstious monks, as to such trifles and 
bigotry in religion, alleging out of Polycrates, the fact of 
Irenaeus, who withstood Victor, Bishop of Rome, upon the 
same account; and the custom of the churches of Asia 
observed by St. John the Evangelist, Philip the Apostle, 
Polycarpus, and Melito ; and likewise observed in Britain 
by Joseph of Arimathea, who first preached the gospel 

Offa* was made King of Mercia, and Brichtrich of the 
D.763. West-Saxons; about which time died Fermael, the son of 
Edwal and Cemoyd, King of the Picts. The Saxons daily 
encroached upon the lands and territories of the Welsh 
beyond the river Severn, but more especially towards the 
south part of the country. These encroachments the Welsh 
could not endure, and therefore were resolved to recover 
their own, and to drive the Saxons out of their country. 
The Britons of South Wales, as receiving the greatest injury 

* Saxon. Annal. p. 59. 


and disadvantage from the Saxons, presently took up arms A. D. 776. 
and entered into the country of Mercia, which they ravaged 
and destroyed with fire and sword. Shortly after, all the 
Welsh joined their forces together, fell upon the Saxons, 
forced them to retire beyond the Severn, and then returned 
home with a very considerable spoil of English cattle.* The 
Welsh, finding the advantage of this last incursion, and how 
that by these means they galled and vexed the Saxons, 
frequently practised the same; and, entering their country 
by stealth, they killed and destroyed all before them, and 
driving the cattle beyond the river, ravaged and laid waste 
the whole country. OfFa, King of Mercia, not being able 
to endure these daily incursions and depredations of the 
Welsh, entered into a league with the rest of the Saxon 
kings to bend their whole force against the Welsh, and 
having raised a very strong and numerous army, passed the 
Severn into Wales. The Welsh being far too weak to 
oppose and encounter so great an army, quitted the even 
and plain country lying upon the banks of the Severn and 
Wye,f and retired to the mountains and rocks, where they 
knew they could be most safe from the inveterate and 
revengeful arms of the Saxons: but as soon as the Saxons 
retired, being unable to effect any thing against them in 
these strong and natural fortifications, the Welsh still made 
inroads into their territories, and seldom returned without 
some considerable booty and advantage. The Saxons were 
much nettled at these bo-peeping ravagers, and pursued 
them still to their holds, but durst not follow them further, 
lest they should be entrapped by such as defended the 
straights and passages of the rocks. King OfFa, perceiving 
that he could effect nothing by these measures, annexed 
the country about the Severn and Wye to his kingdom of 
Mercia, and planted the same with Saxons : and for a 
further security against the continued invasions of the 
Welsh he made a deep ditch, extending from one sea to 
the other, called Clawdd OfFa, or OfFa's Dike; upon which 
account the royal seat of the Princes of Powys was trans- 
lated from Pengwern, now Shrewsbury, to Mathraval in 


* Welsh Chron. p. 19. f Hafren and Gwy.^-Langhornl Chron. Reg. Ang. p. 292. 

J The large towns and cities situate to the east of the Severn and Dee were probably 
built at this period to check the incursions of the Welsh by a strong line of frontier posts. 
The villages likewise on the east side of Clawdd OfFa, whose names terminate in ton or 
ham, were about this time inhabited by Saxons, who were usually called Gwyr y Mers, 
or the men of Mercia, though in after times the Welsh settled on each side of the dike. 

Its ancient name was Pengwern, or the head of a place where alders grow, and was 
the seat of the Kings of Powys; whence the Saxon term Schrewsbury is derived. 
Humffrey Lhuyd's Breviary, pp. 27 and 50. 


A. D. 795. While these things were transacted in the west, the 
Danes began to grow powerful at sea, and ventured to land 
in tlie north of England; but without doing any great hurt, 
being forced to betake themselves to their ships again. 
Within six years after they landed again in great numbers, 
and proved much more terrible; they ravaged and de- 
stroyed a great part of Linsey and Northumberland, over- 
run the best part of Ireland, and miserably wasted Rechreyn. 
At the same time a considerable battle was fought at 
Rhuddlan between the Saxons and Welsh, wherein Caradoc 
king of North Wales was killed. The government of Wales 
was as yet but weak, and not firmly rooted, by reason of the 
perpetual quarrels and disturbances between the Welsh and 
the Saxons; so that the chief person or lord of any country 
assumed to himself the title of king. Caradoc was a person 
of great esteem and reputation in North Wales, and one 
that did very much contribute towards the security of the 
country against the incursions of the Saxons. He was son 
to Gwyn, the son of Colhoyn, the son of Ednowen, son to 
Blethyn, the son of Blecius or Bledericus, Prince of Corn- 

A D 796 wa ^ anc ^ Devonshire. Offa, King of Mercia,* did not long 
survive him, and was succeeded by his son Egfert, who in a 
short time left his kingdom also to Kenulphus; a year after 
that Egbertus was created King of the West Saxons. 
About the same time died Arthen, son to Sitsylht, the son 
of Clydawc King of Cardigan; and sometime after, Run 
King of Dyfed,f and Cadelh King of Powys, who were 
followed by Elbodius, Archbishop of North Wales, before 
whose death happened a very great eclipse of the sun. 
The year following the moon was likewise eclipsed upon 
' Christmas-day. These fatalities and eclipses were thought 
to portend no success to the affairs of Wales ; the laying of 
St. David's in ashes by the West Saxons being followed by 
a general and very grievous murrain of cattle, which much 
impoverished the whole country. The following year, 
Owen the son of Meredith, the son of Terudos, died, and 
the castle of Deganwy was destroyed by lightning. 

These great losses which the Welsh sustained did not 
reconcile Prince Conan and his brother Howel; for they 
quarrelled with each other when they had the more occasion 
to embrace and unite their endeavours against the common 
enemy. Howel claimed the isle of Anglesey as part of his 
father's inheritance, which Conan would by no means accede 
to, nor consent that his brother should take possession of it. 
It was the custom of Wales, that a father's estate should be 
equally distributed between all his sons; and Howel, by 


* Welsh Chron. p. 20. f Pembroke. 


virtue of this custom, commonly called Gavelkind from the 
word Gafel, to hold, claimed that island as his portion of 
his father's estate. This custom of Gavelkind was the 
occasion of the ruin and diminution of the estates of all the 
ancient nobility in Wales, which, being endlessly divided 
between the several sons of the same family, were at length 
reduced to nothing. From hence also proceeded various 
unnatural wars and disturbances between brothers, who, 
beina: either not satisfied with their portions or displeased 
with the country they were to possess, disputed their right 
by dint of the sword. This proved the case in the present 
instance; for Howel would not suffer himself to be cheated 
out of his paternal inheritance, and therefore he endeavoured 
to recover it by force of arms. Both armies being engaged, 
the victory fell to Howel, who immediately thereupon pos- 
sessed himself of the island, and valiantly maintained it 
against the power and strength of his brother Conan. 

The Welsh bein<j thus at variance and enmity among 
themselves, and striving how to destroy one another, had 
yet another disaster added to their misfortunes. For the 
following year they suffered a very considerable loss by 
thunder storms, which very much injured the country, and 
laid several houses and towns in ashes. About the same 
time, Griffith the son of Run, a person of considerable 
quality in Wales, died ; and Griffri the son of Cyngen was 
treacherously murdered by the practices of his brother Elis. 

But Conan would not rest satisfied with his brother 
Howel's forcible possession of the Island of Anglesey, and 
therefore he was resolved again to give him battle, and 
to force him to restore and yield up the possession of that 
country which he had now in his hands. Howel, on the 
other hand, being as resolutely bent to maintain his ground, 
and not to deliver up a foot of what he possessed, as well in 
respect of his father's legacy as his late conquest, willingly 
met his brother, put him to flight, and killed a great num- 
ber of his forces. Conan was greatly enraged at this 
shameful overthrow, and therefore resolved either to recover 
the island from his brother, or to sacrifice his life and his 
crown in the quarrel. Having drawn up all the forces he A D 817 
could raise together, he marched to Anglesey to seek his 
brother Howel, who being too weak to encounter and oppose 
so considerable a number, was compelled to make his escape 
to the Isle of Man, and to leave the Island of Anglesey to 
the mercy of his brother. Conan, however, did not live 
long to reap the satisfaction of this victory, but died in a 

c 2 


short time, leaving issue an only daughter called Esylht, 
married to a nobleman of Wales named Merfyn Frych. He 
was son to Gwyriad or Uriet, the son of Elidur, who was 
lineally descended from Belinus, the brother of Brennus 
King of the Britons. His mother was Nest, the daughter 
/i Cadelh King of Powys, the son_of BrochwelYscithroc,* 
who, together with Cadfan king of Britain, Morgan King 
of Demetia, and Bledericus King of Cornwall, gave that 
memorable overthrow to Etheldred King of Northumber- 
land, upon the river Dee, in the year 617. This Brochwel, 
by the Latin writers named Brecinallus and Brochmaelus, 
wag a yerv considerable prince in that part of Britain called 
Powys-land ; he was also Earl of Chester, and lived in the 
town then called Pengwern Powys, now Salop, and in the 
place where the college of St. Chad was subsequently 
erected. He was a great friend and a favourer to the 
monks of Bangor, whose part he took against the Saxons 
that were urged by Augustine the monk to prosecute them 
with fire and sword, because they would not forsake the 
customs of their own church, and conform to those of 


being dead, Merfyn Frych and his wife Esylht, 
who was sole heir to Conan, took upon them the govern- 
ment of the principality of Wales. This Merfyn was King 
of Man, and son to Gwyriat and Nest, the daughter of 
Cadelh ap Brochwel ap Elis King of Powys.f Howel, 
being forcibly ejected out of Anglesey by his brother, 
Conan Tindaethwy, escaped to the Island of Man, and was 
honourably and kindly received by Merfyn ; in return for 
whose civilities Howel used such means afterwards, that 
Merfyn married Esylht, the daughter and heir of his brother 
Conan (though others say that he died presently after his 
escape to Merfyn). Howel, after he had for about five 


* Of whom it is thus written in Hist&ria Diva Monacella;" Fuit olim in Powysia 
quidam Princeps illustrissimus nomine Brochwel Ysgithrog, consul Leycestriae, qui in 
urbem itunc temporis, Pengwern Powys, nunc veto Salopia dicta est habitabat; cujus 
domic-ilium seu Habitaculum ibi steterat ubi collegium divi Ceddae nunc situm est." 
t. e. u There was sometime in Powys a noble prince, named Brochwel Ysgithrog, Consul 
or Earl of Chester, who dwelt in a town then called Pengwern Powys, and now Salop, 
whose dwelling house was in the very same place where the College of St. Chad now 

t Welsh Chronicle, p. 22. 


years enjoyed the Isle of Man, and other lands in the north 
which he held under Merfyn, died about the year 825 ; on 
whose death these possessions again reverted to Merfyn, 
whose ancestors had always held the same under the Kings 
of the Britons ; and thus, upon his marriage with Esylht, 
the Isle of Man was annexed to the crown of Wales.* 

In the first year of their reign, Egbert, the powerful King 
of the West Saxons, entered with a mighty army into 
Wales, destroyed and wasted the country as far as Snow- 
don, and seized upon the lordship of Rhyvonioc in Den- 
bighland.f About the same time a battle was fought in 
Anglesey between the Saxons and Welsh, called, from the 
place where it happened, the battle of Llanvaes. Fortune 
seemed during this period to frown upon the Welsh, and 
their affairs were very unsuccessful ; for shortly after Egbert 
had advanced as far as Snowdon, Kenulph King of Mercia 
wasted the country of West Wales, over-ran and destroyed 
Powys-land, and greatly disturbed and incommoded the 
Welsh nation.^ Soon after this, Kenulph died, and was 
succeeded by Kenelm ; and he in a short time by Ceol- 
wulph, who, after two years' reign, left the kingdom of 
Mercia to Bernulph. 

Egbert, King of the West Saxons, was grown very strong A, D. 828. 
and powerful, and contemplated the reduction of all the 
petty kingdoms in Britain under one single monarchy;! 
upon which he commenced with Bernulph King of Mercia, 
and vanquished him at Elledowne ; and afterwards brought 
under subjection the countries of Kent and of the West 
Angles. But the Britons would not be so easily subdued ; 
for after a long and a cruel fight at Gavelford, between 
them and the West Saxons of Devonshire, in which several 
thousands were slain on both sides, the victory remained 
uncertain. He had better success against Wyhtlafe King A. D- 29. 
of Mercia, whose dominions he easily added to his now 
increasing monarchy ; and passing the Humber, he quickly 
reduced that country to his subjection. The Saxon hep- 
tarchy was now become one kingdom, and Egbert sole 
monarch of all the countries that the Saxons possessed in 
Britain ; which name he ordered should be changed to 
England, his ^ people to be called Englishmen, and the 
language English.|| 


* Rowland's Mona Ant. p. 188. 

f Matthew Westm. (p. 224227) recites three different invasions of Wales by Egbert, 
in which he subdued that country and made its kings tributary. A. D. 810, 811, 830. 

t Welsh Chron. pp.^24, 25. 

Fabian, p. 184. Rowland's Mona Ant. p. 171. 

|] Humffrey Lhuyd's Brev. p. 13. Verstegan, c. 5, p. 125. 


They who came over out of Germany into this island to 
aid the Britons against their enemies the Picts and Scots, 
were partly Saxons, Angles, and Juthes ; from the first of 
whom came the people of Essex, Sussex, Middlesex, and 
the West Saxons ; from the Angles, the East Angles, the 
Mercians, and they that inhabited the north side of the 
Humber ; from the Juthes, the Kentishmen and they that 
settled in the Isle of Wight. These Germans, after they 
had driven the Britons beyond Severn and Dee, erected 
seven kingdoms, called the Heptarchy, in the other part of 
the island: namely, 1. Kent. 2. The South Saxons, con- 
taining Sussex and Surrey. 3. The East Angles, in Nor- 
folk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire. 4. The kingdom of the 
West Saxons, comprehending Berkshire, Devonshire, So- 
mersetshire, and Cornwall. 5. Mercia, containing the 
present counties of Gloucester, Hereford, Worcester, Salop, 
Stafford, Chester, Warwick, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, 
Lincoln, Northampton, Oxford, Buckingham, Bedford, and 
part of Hertford. 6. The East Saxons, containing Essex, 
Middlesex, and the other part of Hertford. 7. The North- 
umbrians, taking in all the country beyond Humber, which 
was divided into two parts, Deyra and Bernicia, the first 
portion extending from Humber to Tyne, the other from 
Tyne to the Scottish sea. 

Egbert, King of the West Saxons, having severally 
conquered these kingdoms, annexed them together, and 
comprehended them under one monarchy, which was called 
the kingdom of England, 968 years after the coming of 
Brute to this island, 383 years after the landing of Hengist, 
and 149 years after the departure of Cadwalader to Rome. 

Egbert,* having thus united under one government these 
several kingdoms, which used continually to molest and to 
encroach upon each other's territories, .might reasonably 
have expected to enjoy his new kingdom quietly, without 
A. D. 883. fear of any disturbance or trouble in his dominions. But 
no sooner was he established king of England, than the 
Danes began to threaten new commotions, and landed in 
great numbers, and in divers parts of the coast. Egbert 
fought several battles with them, and with various success: 
at length the Danes landed in West Wales, marched for- 
ward for England, being joined by a great number of 
Welsh, and met Egbert upon Hengist-down, where a severe 
battle was fought, and the Danes put to a total rout.f The 
Welsh suffered severely for this : Egbert, being highly 
incensed that the Danes were supported by them, laid siege 


* Welsh Chron. p. 24, 25. f S&^on Chron. p. 72. 


to Caer Lheon ar Dhyfrdwy, or Chester, the chief city of 
Venedotia, which hitherto had remained in the hands of 
the Welsh ;* he took the place, and, among other tokens of 
his indignation, he caused the brazen effigies of Cadwalhon 
King of Britain to be pulled down and defaced, f and for- 
bad the erecting of such again on pain of death. He issued 
also a proclamation by the instigation of his wife Redburga, 
who always bore an inveterate hatred towards the Welsh, 
commanding all that were any ways descended from British 
blood, to depart, with all their effects, out of his kingdom 
within six months, upon pain of death. J These were very 
severe and insupportable terms; but he did not live to 
see them put in execution ; for dying shortly after the battle 
of Hengist-down, he was succeeded by his son Ethelwulph. 
This King Ethelwulph married his daughter to Berthred, 
who was his tributary King of Mercia, by whose help he 
successfully opposed the cruel incursions of the Danes, who 
miserably destroyed the sea-coasts of England by fire and 
sword. These Danish invasions having been successfully 
resisted, Berthred King of Mercia attacked the Welsh, 
with whom a remarkable battle was fought at a place called 
Kettell ; where Merfyn Frych, King of the Britons, was * 
killed, leaving his son Roderic Mawr, or the Great, to suc- 
ceed him in the government of Wales.g 


MERFYN FRYCH having lost his life, and with it his 
kingdom, in the battle of Kettell, his son Roderic, sur- 843 ' 
named the Great, without any opposition, succeeded to the 
Principality of Wales. The first thing he effected after his 
advancement to the crown was the dividing of Wales into 
3 provinces, which he distinguished thus: Aberffraw, Dine- 
vawr, and Mathraval. Berthred, King of Mercia, being 
animated by his late success against Merfyn Frych, pur- 
posed to perform the like exploits against his son Roderic ; 
and having gained the aid and assistance of King Ethel- 
wulph, he entered North Wales|| with a strong army, and 
advanced as far as Anglesey, which he cruelly ravaged. 
Roderic met him several times, and the Welsh at length so 
galled and resisted him that he had little or nothing to 


* Chron. of Wales, p. 72. f Stowe's Chron. p. 77. 

I Chron. of Wales, p. 27. Saxon Chron. p. 75. 

II Rowland's Mona Ant. p. 174. Sim. Dunelme, p. 120-139. Hist. Angl. Script. ) 
Matthew Westm. p. 231. Chron. of Wales, p. 35. 


boast of, although Meyric, one of the chief princes among 
the Britons, was slain. 

Berthred was, however, soon forced to desist from his 
expedition against the Welsh, and to turn his forces another 
way, his own dominions requiring their constant residence, 
A. D. 846. being severely threatened by a foreign invasion : for the 
Danes were by this time grown so very powerful, that they 
overran a great part of England, fought with Athelstan, 
King of Kent, brother to Ethel wulph, and obtained so 
much footing, that whereas they had on previous occasions 
returned to their own country when the weather grew too 
cold for action, they now took up their winter quarters in 

The Welsh, in the mean time, being secure from that 
violence which they might otherwise have expected from 
the English, began to quarrel and fall out amongst them- 
selves. Ithel, King of Gwent or Wentland, for what occa- 
sion is not known, attacked the men of Brecknock, who 
were so resolute as to fight him, and the event proved fatal 
to Ithel, who was slain upon the spot: thus affording 
another proof that it is the unhappiness of a nation to be 
composed of several petty states, for in such case, when it 
js not under apprehension of danger from an outward enemy, 
it will often be at variance and experience disturbance 
within itself. 

Had the Britons, instead of falling upon one another, 
taken the advantage of this opportunity, when the Saxons 
were altogether employed in opposing and repelling the 
Danes, to increase and strengthen their number and to 
fortify their towns, they might at least securely have pos- 
sessed their own dominions, if not extended their govern- 
ment to a great part of England ; but a sort of an equality 
in power begat an emulation between the several princes, 
and this emulation for the most part ended in contention, 
so that instead of strengthening themselves whilst they had 
respite from the English, they rather weakened their power 
by inward differences. 

Kyngen King of Powys having gone to Rome, there to 

A.D. 854. end his days peaceably and religiously, experienced a death 

not so natural as he had anticipated, being barbarously 

Mf slain (or, as some say, choked) by his own servants. 

Shortly after died Cemoyth King of the Picts, and Jonathan 

Lord of Abergeley. It was at this time customary for 

princes wearied with government to go to Rome, and the 

Pope willingly dispensed with the resignation of their 

crowns, because his Holiness seldom lost by it. King 



Ethelwulph paid very dear for his entertainment there, 
having made his kingdom tributary to the Pope, and paid 
the Peter-pence to the church of Rome. The Saxon genea- 
logists carry the pedigree of Ethelwulph even up to Adam, 
as may be seen in Matthew of Westminster, who in like 
manner derives the pedigree of Oflfa, King of Mercia. 
This pride in genealogy has been the custom of most 
nations both ancient and modern, and has always been 
evinced by those whose families are ancient and honourable; 
so that it is very unfair to deride the Welsh because they 
adhere to this ancient and laudable custom. 

Berthred King of Mercia became at length far too weak 
to repel the daily increasing power of the Danes, who so 
numerously poured upon him, that at last he was forced to 
relinquish his kingdom and fly to Rome, where in a short 
time he sorrowfully ended his days. Ethelwulph soon fol- 
lowed, and left his sons, Athelbald King of the West Saxons, 
and Athelbright King of Kent and of the East Saxons. 
Ethelwulph is reported to have been so learned and devout, 
that the church of Winchester elected him in his youth 
Bishop of that see, which function he took upon him about 
seven years before he was made king. He is said also to 
have conquered the kingdom of Demetia or South Wales, 
which, together with the kingdom of the South-Saxons, he 
bestowed upon his son Alfred, upon condition he would 
bring a thousand men out of Wales to Winchester to the 
aid of his brother Ethelbert against the Danes. Athelbald 
succeeding his father in the kingdom of the West Saxons, 
kept his mother-in-law, the wife of Ethelwulph, for his 
concubine, and afterwards married her in the city of Chester. 
He did not live long in this unnatural connexion, but dying 
without issue after he had reigned eight years, left his 
kingdom to his brother Athelbright. 

About the same time the Danes began again to bestir 
themselves, and attacked the city of Winchester and de- 
stroyed it, on which Athelbright, after a long fight, forced 
them to quit the land and to betake themselves to sea 
again: but the Danes quickly returned to the Isle of Thanet, 
where they remained for that winter, doing much mischief 
upon the sea-coast, and destroying various places on the 
coast of England. The English were very glad that they 
durst venture no further, and the more, because the Welsh 
began again to be troublesome, against whom an army was 
speedily dispatched, in order to prevent the advance of the 
Welsh to the English country. Both armies met at Gwey- 
then, where a fierce battle was fought, and a great number 



slain on each side, but the victory was uncertain. The 
Welsh, however, not long after, sustained a considerable 
loss by the death of Conan Nant Nifer, a brave and skilful 
commander, who oftentimes had valiantly repulsed the 
English forces, and obtained many signal victories over 

The Danes had been for some time quiet, being unable 
to venture upon any considerable action, and deeming it 
adviseable to secure only what they had already won until 
they received a reinforcement from their own country. This 
was quickly sent them, under the command of Hungare and 
Hubba, who landed in England with a very considerable 
army of Danes. King Athelbright, whether terrified with 
apprehension of these invaders, or otherwise being indis- 
posed, quickly afterwards gave up the ghost, leaving the 
management of his kingdom, together with that of his army 
against the Danes, to his brother Ethelred. The Danes in 
the mean time got sure footing, and advanced as far as 
York, which they miserably wasted, killing Osbright and 
Elba, two Kings of Northumberland that opposed them. 
From hence they proceeded to overrun all the country as 
far as Nottingham, destroying and spoiling all before them, 
and then returned back to York : but having once tasted 
how sweet was the spoil of a country much more fertile than 
their own, they could not rest satisfied with what they had 
already obtained, but made a farther progress into the 
country, and attacked the kingdom of the East-Angles. 
Edmund King of that country being unwilling to endure 
their ravages, endeavoured to oppose them, but in the 
undertaking was unfortunately slain. And now after the 
same manner that the Saxons had formerly attained to the 
conquest of Britain, the Danes proceeded to the conquest 
of England; for the Saxons having found out the value of 
this island, and withal discovered the weakness and inability 
of the Britons to oppose them, brought over their hosts by 
degrees and in several companies, by which they wearied 
and tired out the British armies. It is certain that nothing 
conduces more to the conquest of an island than the land- 
ing an army at several places and at several times, thus 
distracting the counsels arid proceedings of the inhabitants; 
and which, in this instance, for want of sufficient power at 
sea, could not be prevented. The Danes, being informed 
of the good success of Hungare and Hubba in England, 
sent over another army under the command of Basreck and 
Aiding, who landed in Wessex, and fought five battles with 
King Ethelred and his brother Alfred, namely, at Hengle- 



field, Eastondown, Redding, Basing, and Mereton, in which 
two first the English were successful, and in the three last 
the Danes obtained the victory. 

Soon after this Etheldred died, leaving his kingdom to 
his brother Alfred,* who, as soon as he had taken the 
government upon him, considered within himself what a A.D. 872. 
heavy burthen he had to sustain, and therefore he began to 
enquire after the wisestf and most learned men, to be directed 
by them, whom he worthily entertained, making use of their 
advice as well in the public government of the kingdom as 
in his private studies and conferences of learning. He sent 
for two very learned men out of Wales, the one called John 
de Erigena, surnamed Scotus, the other Asserius, surnamed 
Menevensis. De Erigena was born at Menevia, or St. 
David's, and was brought up in that college ; and, for the 
sake of learning, having travelled to Athens, and bestowed 
there many years in the study of the Greek, Hebrew, and 
Chaldaic tongues, and in the mysteries of philosophy, came 
to France, where he was well received by Carolus Calvus, 
or Charles the Bald, and Ludovicus Balbus, or Lewis the 
Stammerer; he there translated the work of Dionysius 
Areopagita, De Ccelesti Hierarchia, out of the Greek into 
the Latin tongue. Being returned to Wales, he was sent 
for by this King Alfred, who was then founding and erect- 
ing the University of Oxford, of which Erigena became the 
first professor and public reader.^ Indeed, King Alfred 
bore so great a respect to learning, that he would suffer 
none to bear any considerable office in his court but such as 
were learned ; and withal exhorted all persons to embrace 
learning, and to honour learned men. But though a love to 
learning be seldom reconcileable with a warlike and military 
life, King Alfred was forced to regard the discipline of war, 
so as to defend his kingdom against the increasing power of 
the Danes. For he was scarce settled in his throne, but 
this restless and ever-troublesome people began to molest 
and destroy his country, insomuch that he was of necessity 
forced to attack them, which he did twice upon the south 
side of the river Thames, in which engagements he slew of 
the Danes one king and nine earls, together with an innu- 
merable multitude of inferior soldiers. About the same 
time Gwgan ap Meyric ap Dunwal ap Arthen ap Sitsylht, 
Prince of Cardigan, died, being (as some say) unfortunately 
drowned. The late victories which Alfred had obtained 
over the Danes, did not so much weaken and dishearten 


* William Malmsbury, lib. 2, cap. 4, p. 42. 
t Polydore-Vergil, lib. 5, p. 106. } Chron. of Wales, p, 33. 


them, but that in a short time they recovered their spirits 
and began again to display a threatening aspect. For as 
soon as they could re-unite their scattered forces, they 
attacked and destroyed the town of Alclyde, obtained pos- 
session of the city of London and Reading, and over-ran 
all the inland country and the whole kingdom of Mercia. 
Another army of Danes at the same time proved very 
successful in the North, and possessed themselves of the 
country of Northumberland, which did not so much grieve 
the English as it annoyed the Picts and Scots, who were 
frequently beat off by these Danish troops. The next year 
three of the Danish captains marched from Cambridge 
towards Wareham in Dorsetshire, of which expedition King 
Alfred being informed, presently detached his forces to 
oppose them, and to offer them battle. The Danes were so 
alarmed at this, that they immediately desired peace, and 
willingly consented forthwith to depart out of the country, 
and to forswear the sight of English ground : according 
to which capitulation the horse that night marched for 
Exeter, and the foot being shipped off, were all of them 
drowned at Sandwich. The Danes having thus left Eng- 
land, were not willing to return home empty, but bent their 
course against Wales. They fancied that they were like to 
meet with no great opposition from the Welsh, and therefore 
could carve for themselves according as their fancy directed 
them ; but having landed their army in Anglesey, they 
quickly experienced the contrary ; Prince Roderic opposing 
them, gave them two battles, one at a place called Bengole, 
A.D. 873. and the other at Menegid, in Anglesey. At the same time, 
another army of Danes, under the command of Halden and 
Hungare, landed in South Wales, over-ran the whole 
country, destroying all before them, neither sparing churches 
nor religious houses.* But they received their due reward 
at the hands of the West Saxons, who, meeting with them 
on the coasts of Devonshire, slew both Halden and Hungare, 
with 1200 of their men. The same year Einion, Bishop of 
St. David's, died, and was the following year succeeded by 
Hubert, who was installed in his place. 

A. D. 876. Th. e English, being rid of their powerful and ever restless 
enemies the Danes, began now to quarrel with the Welsh. 
Entering into Anglesey, with a numerous army, they fought 


* Welsh Chron. p. 34. 

About this time Roderic changed the royal residence from Caer Segont, near the 
present town of Caernarvon, to Aberffraw, in Anglesey. It is strange that he should 
desert a country where every mountain was a natural fortress ; and, in times of such 
difficulty and danger, should make choice of a residence so exposed and defenceless. 
1 tow land's Muna Ant. p. 173. 


a severe battle with Roderic, who, together with his brother 
(or as others say his son) Gwyriad, was unhappily slain in 
the field, which battle is called by the Welsh, Gwaith Duw 
Sul y Mon.* ThisRoderic had issue (by his wife Angharad) 
Anarawd, Cadelh, and Merfyn, the last of which, Giraldus 
Cambrensis, contrary to the common and received opinion, 
will have to be the eldest son of Roderic, upon whom was 
bestowed the principality of North Wales; for it was 
unanimously granted that Roderic was the undoubted pro- 
prietor of all the Dominions of Wales; North Wales de- 
scending unto him by his mother Esylht, the daughter and 
sole heir of Conan Tindaethwy; South Wales by his 
wife Angharad, the daughter of Meyric ap Dyfnwal ap 
Arthen ap Sitsylht, King of Cardigan ; Powys by Nest, the 
sister and heir of Cyngen ap Cadelh, King of Powys, his 
father's mother. f These three districts Roderic apportioned 
to his three sons, giving North Wales to his eldest son 
Anarawd, and South Wales to Cadelh, who, shortly after 
his father's death, forcibly seized upon the portion of his 
brother Merfyn, upon whom Roderic had bestowed Powys- 
land. Wales being thus divided between these three 
princes, they were called Y Tri Tywysoc Talaethioc, or the 
three crowned princes, by reason that each of them did wear 
on his helmet a coronet of gold, being a broad head-band 
indented upward, set and wrought with precious stones, 
which in the British Tongue is called Talaeth. For each 
of these princes Roderic built a royal residence : for the 
Prince of Gwynedd, or North Wales, at Aberffraw; of 
South Wales, at Dinefawr; for the Prince of Powys, at 
Mathrafal. Roderic had issue also, besides these three, 
Roderic, Meyric, Edwal or Tudwal, Gwyriad, and Gathelic. 
Roderic, having divided his principality betwixt his 
eldest sons, namely, Aberffraw, with the 15 cantreds there- 
unto belonging, to Anarawd; Dinefawr, with its 15 can- 
treds, extending from the mouth of the river Dyfi to the 
mouth of the Severn, to Cadelh; and Powys, with 15 
cantreds, from the mouth of the river Dee to the bridge 
over the Severn at Gloucester, to Merfyn; ordained, " That 
his eldest son, Anarawd,^ and his successors, should con- 
tinue the payment of the ancient tribute to the Crown of 
England ; and the other two, their heirs, and successors, 
should acknowledge his sovereignty; and that upon any 


* Welsh Chron. p. 35. f Rowland's Mona Ant. p. 174. 

J Roderic, regarding likewise his eldest son Anarawd, as the immediate heir of the 
Cynethian line, he left to him and his successors the title of JBrenhin Cymrv, Oll t or 
King of all Wales. Rowland's Mona, pp. 174, 175. 

These tributes, according to Mr. Robert Vaughan, of Hengwrt, in Brit. Ant. Reviv. 
pp. 39, 40, were paid in the following manner : The Kings of North Wales were to pay 


foreign invasion they should mutually aid and protect one 

He farther appointed, " That when any difference should 
arise betwixt the Princes of Aberffraw and Cardigan or 
Dinefawr, the three princes should meet at Bwylch-y-Pawl,* 
and the Prince of Powys should be umpire : but if the 
Princes of Aberffraw and Powys fell at variance, they should 
meet at Dol Rhianedd, probably Morva Rhianedd, on the 
bank of the River Dee, where the King of Cardigan was to 
adjust the controversy. If the quarrel happened betwixt 
the Princes of Powys and Cardigan, the meeting was ap- 
pointed at Llys Wen upon the river Wye, and to be decided 
by the Prince of Aberffraw." 

And the better to frustrate any attempt of the English, 
he ordained, moreover, ee That all strong holds, castles, 
and citadels should be fortified and kept in repair ; that all 
churches and religious houses should be re-edified and 
adorned, and that in all ages the history of Britain, being 
faithfully registered and transcribed, should be kept therein." 


A.D. 877. 1 HE Welsh had often sorrowfully felt the unnatural 
effects of inward seditions, and of being governed by several 
princes, which were now about to be renewed by Roderic's 
imprudent division of his dominions between his three sons. 
The several principalities being united in him, it would 
certainly have been the most politic means, for the preserva- 
tion of the country from the inveterate fury of the English, 
and for composing the inward differences which would other- 
wise happen, to perpetuate .the whole government of Wales 
in one prince ; it being impossible so effectually to oppose 
the common enemy by separate armies, and where a different 
interest interfered, as if the safety of the same country and 
the honour of the prince were unanimously regarded. This 
was the misfortune of the Ancient Britons when the Romans 
invaded their country : domestic broils and inward dissen- 
sions being sown among themselves, they could not agree to 
unite their powers and jointly to oppose the common enemy ; 


63 to the crown of London ; the Princes of Powys four tons of flour, and the Princes 
of South Wales four tons of honey, to the Sovereigns of North Wales. The royal tribute 
was called Teyrnged j that paid from the Princes of South Wales and Powys to the 
Sovereign of North Wales, was called Madged. 

* In the present county of Montgomery. 


so that Tacitus wisely concludes,* Dum singuli pugnant 
universi vincuntur. 

There are few nations but have experienced the folly of 
being rent into several portions ; and the downfal of the 
Roman empire may, not without reason, be attributed to 
Constantine's division of it between his sons. The Welsh 
at this time soon felt the unhappiness of being in separate 
states ; for Cadelh Prince of South Wales being dissatisfied 
with his portion, and desirous to feed his ambition with 
larger territories, seized part of his brother Merfyn's country, 
and, attempting forcibly to dispossess him of his lawful 
inheritance, involved the Welsh in a civil war. 

The succession of the Princes of Wales proceeded in 
Anarawd, the eldest son of Roderic, who began his reign 
over North Wales in the year 877.* At that time Rollo, A.D.877. 
with a numerous army of Normans, descended into France, 
and possessed themselves of the country of Neustria, which 
from them has since received the name of Normandy. The 
treacherous Danes in England, also, who had retired to the 
city of Exeter, violated the capitulation which they had 
lately sworn to observe, and upon that account were so 
warmly pressed by King Alfred, that they gladly delivered 
up hostages for the performance of the articles formerly 
agreed upon between them. It was not, however, their 
intention to keep them long; for the next year they again 
broke loose, possessed themselves of all the country upon 
the north side of the Thames, and, passing the river, put 
the English to flight, and made themselves masters of Chip- 
penham in Wessex: but their whole army did not succeed 
so well; for Alfred, meeting with a party of them, slew 
their captain and took their standard, which the Danes 
called RAVEN. After this, he vanquished them again at 
Edendown, where, the Danes having given hostages for 
their peaceable behaviour, Godrun, their commander, re- 
ceived the Christian faith, and so reigned in East Angle. 
This period seemed to portend a great storm upon Wales; A.D. 878. 
for besides the death of Aeddan, the son of Melht, a noble- 
man of the country, the articles of composition between the 
English and Danes occasioned these last to join their power 
with the people of Mercia to fight against the Welsh, with 
whom a severe battle was fought at Conwey, wherein the 
Welsh obtained a signal victory, which was called " Dial 
Rodri, or the Revenge of the Death of Prince Roderic." 

The reason why the Mercians were so irreconcileably en- 

* Rowland, p. 174. 

This territory was the Venedocia of the Romans, and was by the Britons called 
Gwynedh. Humff. Lhuyd, p. 64. 


raged against the Welsh at this time was this : After the 
death of Roderic the Great, the northern Britons of Strat- 
clwyd and Cumberland were much infested and weakened 
by the daily incursions of the Danes, Saxons, and Scots, 
insomuch that as many oi ? them as would not submit their 
necks to the yoke were forced to quit their country and to 
seek for more quiet habitations: therefore, about the be- 
ginning of Anarawd's reign, many of them came to Gwynedd, 
under the conduct of one Hobert, whose distressed condi- 
tion the prince commiserating, granted them all the country 
betwixt Chester and Conwey to seat themselves in, in case 
they could drive out the Saxons who had lately possessed 
themselves of it. 

The Britons having expressed their thanks to Anarawd, 
presently fell to work, and necessity giving edge to their 
valour, they easily dispossessed the Saxons, who were not 
as yet secure in their possessions. For some time the 
Welsh continued peaceably in these parts reconquered; but 
Eadred, Duke of Mercia, called by the Welsh Edryd 
Wallthir, not being able any longer to bear such ari igno- 
minious ejection, made great preparations for the regaining 
of the country. The northern Britons, however, who had 
settled themselves there, having intelligence of his design, 
for the better security of their cattle and other effects, 
removed them beyond the river Conwey. Prince Anarawd 
in the mean time was not idle, but drawing together all the 
strength he could raise, encamped his army near the town of 
Conwey, at a place called Cymryt, where himself and his 
men having made gallant resistance against the pressing 
efforts of the Saxons, obtained a very complete victory. 

This battle was by some called Gwaeth Cymryt Conwey, 
by reason that it was fought in the township of Cymryt, near 
Conwey; but Prince Anarawd would have it called " Dial 
Rodri," because he had there revenged the death of his 
father Rodri. 

In this battle Tudwal, Rodri's son, received a wound in 
the knee, which caused him to be denominated Tudwal 
Gloffever after; and for his signal service in this action his 
brethren bestowed upon him Uchelogoed Gwynedd. The 
Britons, pursuing their victory, chased the Saxons quite out 
of Wales into Mercia, where, having burnt and destroyed 
the borders, they returned home laden with rich spoils, and 
so took possession of the country betwixt Chester and Con- 
wey, which for a long time after they peaceably enjoyed. 
Anarawd, to express his thankfulness to God for this great 
victory, gave very considerable lands and possessions to ^the 



collegiate churches of Bangor and Clynnoc Vawr in Arfon. 
After this, those Danes that lay at Fulhenham, near Lon- 
don, crossed the sea to France, and passing to Paris along 
the river Seine, spoiled the country thereabouts, vanquishing 
the French that came against them ; but in their return 
towards the sea coast they were met by the Britons of 
Armorica, who slew the greatest part of them, and the rest, 
confusedly endeavouring to escape to their ships, were 

It might have been supposed that the several misfortunes 
the Danes sustained, first at Sandwich, then by King Alfred, 
and afterwards in France, would have quite drained their 
number, and utterly have rid Britain from so troublesome 
an enemy ; but, like ill weeds, the more they were rooted 
up, the faster they grew : the Danes were still supplied from 
abroad, and if an army was vanquished here, another was 
sure to come in their room. This the Welsh found to be 
too true; for not long after this great defeat by the Ar- 
morican Britons, the Danes, not able to venture upon these, 
were resolved to revenge themselves upon their friends of 
Wales ; and therefore landing in North W ales, they cruelly 
harassed and destroyed the country. Nor is it matter of 
surprise from whence such a wonderful number of Danes 
and Normans could come ; for the kingdom of Denmark 
had under it not only Denmark, which is a small country 
divided by the sea into insulas and peninsulas (as that 
which joins upon Saxony and Holsatia, called Cymbrica 
Chersonesus, with the islands of Zealand and Finnen), but 
also Norway, and the large country of Sweden, reaching to 
Muscovy, and almost to the North Pole. This country 
being then scarce known to the world, did, all at once as it 
were, pour out a vast multitude of people, who, like a 
sudden storm, unexpectedly over-ran all Europe, with a 
great portion of Africa. From hence proceeded the Danes 
who annoyed England, and the Normans who conquered 
France, both nations being originally derived from the same 

The Danes had not appeared in England for some time, A,D- 890. 
and therefore they now resolved to take so sure a footing 
that they could not easily be repulsed. Two hundred and 
fifty sail of vessels having landed the troops they had on 
board at Lymene, in Kent, hard by the great forest of 
Andreslege, they built the castle of Auldre or Apledore. 
At the same time Hasting, with a fleet of eighty sail, ven- 
tured to the Thames mouth, and built the castle of Mydl- 



ton, having first made an oath to King Alfred not to molest 
him or any of his subjects : but having built the castle of 
Beamfleet, he thought he had obtained so much strength 
that there was no necessity of observing the oath he had 
lately sworn to King Alfred, and therefore invaded the 
country round about him ; but he soon found his mistake, 
and was forced to retire to his castle, which was quickly 
pulled down, and his wife and two sons taken prisoners, 
who, after they had been baptized in the Christian church, 
were again restored to their father. Upon this Hasting and 
his Danes departed from England, and proceeded to France, 
where, laying siege to the city of Limogis, and despairing 
of a speedy surrender of it, he betook himself to his usual 
way of dealing sinistrously, and plotted this device to win 
the town : He feigned himself to be dangerously sick, and 
sent to the bishop and the consul of the city, desiring 
of them most earnestly that he might be admitted to the 
Christian faith, and be baptized before his departure out of 
this world. The bishop and consul, suspecting no deceit, 
were very glad, not only to be delivered from the present 
danger of being besieged, but also to win so great a person 
to the congregation of Christ. Whereupon a peace being 
concluded betwixt both nations, Hasting was baptized, the 
bishop and consul being his godfathers : which ceremony 
being ended, he was carried back by his soldiers to his 
ship, in a very infirm condition, as he outwardly pretended. 
About midnight he caused himself, with his arms about 
him, to be laid on a bier, and commanded his soldiers to 
carry their weapons with them under their coats, and so to 
be ready when he should give them the word. The next 
day, all things being in readiness, he was solemnly brought 
by his soldiers, with great clamour and counterfeit mourn- 
ing, to be interred in the chief church of the city, where the 
bishop and consul, accompanied by all the most honourable 
members of the town, came to honour the funeral; but 
when the bishop had made himself ready to bury the body, 
and all the citizens were in the church, up starts Hasting 
with his sword drawn, and killing first the bishop and the 
consul, afterwards fell in with his armed soldiers upon the 
naked people, putting all to the sword, and sparing neither 
age, sex, nor infirmity. Having ransacked the town, he 
sent messengers to Charles, the French king, to mediate for 
peace, which he easily obtained, together with the town of 
Chartres towards the defraying of his charges. 

A.D. 891. At this time Hennith ap Bledric, a baron of Wales, died ; 
893. and two years after, Anarawd Prince of North Wales, with 


a considerable number of English, marched against his 
brother Cadelh, and spoiled the countries of Cardigan and 
Ystradgwy.* At the same time the Danes laid siege to the 
city of Exeter; and when Alfred had marched to oppose 
them, they that had continued in the castle of Auldre passed 
over to Essex, and built another castle at Scobrith, and 
from thence marched to Budington, seated upon the Severn. 
When Alfred came near to Exeter, the Danes immediately 
raised the siege, and betaking themselves to their ships, 
sailed towards Wales, spoiled the sea-coast thereof, and 
advanced as far as Buellt. 

The Danes at Budington f being informed that King 
Alfred was marching against them, fled back to their castle 
in Essex, so *that the king was obliged to alter his march, 
and to direct his forces against Leicester, where a party of 
Danes was so warmly besieged, that at length they were 
reduced to such extremity as to compel them to feed upon 
their horses. The season of the year for action, however, 
being ended, and the severity of the weather being extreme, 
Alfred was forced to raise the siege, and to wait the next 
opportunity for the recovery of the town ; but before he A. D. 895. 
could besiege it again the Danes had quitted it, and, toge- 
ther with those in Northumberland, proceeded by the 
North Sea to Meresige, an isle in Essex. The next year 896. 
they entered the Thames, and built a castle twenty miles 
distant from London, and presuming on its strength, they 
ventured to spoil and waste the country thereabouts ; but 
they paid very dear for their temerity ; for, being accident- 
ally met with, they were completely overthrown, having four 
of their princes slain upon the spot, and the remainder of 
their forces being very glad to make their escape to the 
castle. Upon this Alfred divided the river into three 
streams, by which stratagem the water became so diminished 
in the Thames that the Danish ships could not return back 
into the sea. When the Danes perceived this, and found it 
impracticable to escape in their ships, they left their wives 
and children and all their effects in Essex, and so proceeded 
by land to Enadbryge upon the Severn, and then passing 
the river, spoiled the countries of Brecknock, Gwentland, 
and Gwentlhwg. Some of them, at the same time, passed 
over to France ; and another body, coasting about Devon- 
shire, destroyed the maritime countries, but being met with 

D 2 

* Chronicle of Wales. 

"t A village pleasantly situated on the banks of the Severn, about two miles from 
Welshpool on the Salop road, now called Buttington. 


by the English, lost six of their ships in the conflict that 
took place. 

A. D. 897. The following summer the kingdom of Ireland suffered 
extremely by locusts, which consumed all the com and all 
the grass throughout the whole country ; in consequence of 
which public prayers and fasting were directed for their 
destruction. These reptiles are common in Africa and 
other hot regions, but are seldom seen in colder climates ; 
and when they happen to travel so far, they are, as else- 
where, very pestilential and destructive to the country in 
which they deposit themselves. 

900. This year Igmond, with a great number of Danes, landed 
in Anglesey, and was met with by the Welsh at a place 
called Molerain, where Merfyn* was slain; though others 
call it Meilon, and, from the battle fought there, Maes Rhos 
Meilon. The same year King Alfred died, who directed 
the translation of the ancient laws of Dyfhwal Moelmut, 
King of Britain, and the laws of Queen Marsia, out of 
British into English, and called it Marsian law, which was 
afterwards called West Saxon law, and observed in part of 
Mercia, with all the countries south of Thames ; the other 
part of the country having another law called Dane Lex ; 
both of which remained to the time of Edward the Confessor, 
which latter sovereign out of these two made one law. It is 
related of King Alfred that he divided the natural day into 
three parts the first he set apart for devotion and study, 
the next for the affairs of the commonwealth, and the third 
for his own rest and refreshment. 

Alfred being dead, Edward, his eldest son, took upon 
him the crown, which so displeased the ambitious spirit of 
his brother Adelwulph, that he immediately raised a cruel 
war against him, and proceeding to Northumberland, stirred 
up the Danes against his brother Edward. The Danes were 
glad of the opportunity, which afforded a plausible pretence 
for rendering themselves masters of the whole island ; and 
therefore Adelwulph was declared king, as well of the 
Angles as of the Danes, who by this time were grown to be, 
as it were, one people. Marching then proudly with a very 
considerable army at his heels, Adelwulph subdued the 
East Saxons, spoiled the country of Mercia, and passing 
over the Thames at Crickland, destroyed Brythend, and 
returned home with very great booty. At the same time 
Euneth was slain in Arwystly. Edward being informed of 
his brother's retreat, pursued him eagerly, and, missing 
him, over-ran and destroyed all the country betwixt Ouse 


* Prince of Powys. 


and the Dike of St. Edmund, and then returned home with 
his whole army, excepting the Kentish men, who being too 
greedy of plunder, rashly tarried behind. The Danes per- 
ceiving the body of the army to be returned, and that a 
small party still continued to ravage the country, attacked 
the Kentish men, slew a great number of them, and put the 
rest to a shameful flight. Nor were the Danes only power- 
ful in England, but they molested and grew prevalent in 
Ireland : for this year they entered that kingdom, slew A. D. 905. 
Carmot, king and bishop of all Ireland, a religious and 
virtuous person, the son of Gukeman ; and Kyrnalt, the son 
of Murgan King of Lagines. The next year died Asser, 906. 
Archbishop of St. David's, uncle to the famous and learned 
Asser, surhamed Menevensis ; who, being chancellor to his 
uncle, the archbishop, was sent for by King Alfred to 
instruct his children, whose life he afterwards wrote, and 
was made bishop of Shireburn. 

Edward, to force his brother from his country, and to 
revenge the death of the Kentishmen, dispatched an army 
to Northumberland, which having destroyed the country 
returned home : upon which the Danes, as a return for this 
inroad, destroyed a great part of Mercia : but within a short 
time after, Edward, having raised a very considerable army, 
gave the Danes battle, overthrew them, and slew their kings 
Alden and Edelwulph, with a great number of their nobles. 
This added much to his dominions, which were the more 
increased and strengthened by the addition of the cities of 
London and Oxford ; which, upon the death of Edelred 
Duke of Mercia, Edward took into his own hands, permit- 
ting his widow Elfleda to enjoy the rest of Edelred's 
dukedom. Shortly after, Cadelh Prince of South Wales 
died, leaving three sons-~-Howel I)ha,* or the Good (who 907. 
suceeded his father), Meyric, and Clydawc. King Edward 
having obtained so signal a victory over the Danes, and 
rendered his kingdom for some time quiet, began to build 
places of strength, which might be serviceable against a 
future occasion. He built a castle at Hertford, betwixt the 
rivers Benefic, Minier, and Lige; he also established the 
borough of Wytham in Essex ; and continued some time in 
Wealdyne, to keep those countries in awe. In spite, how- 
ever, of all this precaution, the Danes of Leycester and 
Hampton began the following year to be very troublesome, 


* Howel Dha, the Welsh Justinian, was, according to the Triades, ranked with Pry (lain 
and Dyfnwal under the appellation of the three good princes of Britain. In the Triades, 
Anarawd and his brothers have the appellation of the th.ree diademed princes; they were 
also called the three bandlet-weAring kings of the Isle of Britain, and the three bandlet- 
wearing princes. 


slew a great number of English at Hotchnorton, and in their 
return homeward destroyed the country about Oxford. 
About the same time a considerable fleet from Tydwike, 
under the command of Uther and Ranald, sailed by the 
western sea to Wales, and destroyed St. David's ; at which 
place was fought the battle of Dinarth, where Mayloc, the 
son of Peredur Gam, was slain. After this they entered 
A.D. 911. Herefordshire, where, in another encounter, Rahald was 
slain, and the remains of his troops were compelled to swear 
they would quit the king's land, and never return any more 
to England. King Edward, to prevent any future disturb- 
ance from such open invaders, caused a strong army to be 
quartered upon the south side of Severn ; but the Danes, 
notwithstanding all his efforts, entered twice into his coun- 
try, once at Werd, and then at Portogan, but were each 
time overthrown by the English. On their departure they 
proceeded to the Isle of Stepen, whence they were forced 
by hunger to sail to South Wales, intending to make a 
considerable prey of that country ; but failing of their aim, 
they were constrained to make the best of their way for 
Ireland. The next year a party of Danes fought a very 
severe battle with the Kentish men at Holm, but which 
party obtained the victory is not certainly known. About 
913. the same time, Anarawd Prince of North Wales died, 
leaving two sons, Edwal Foel and Elis, and some say a 
third, named Meyric. 


913. AFTER the death of Anarawd, his eldest son, Edwal 
Foel, took upon him the government of North Wales, 
Howel Dha holding the principality of South Wales and 
Powys. At this time a great comet appeared in the hea- 
vens. The same year the city of Chester, which had been 
destroyed by the Danes, was, by the procurement of Elfleda, 
new built and repaired, as the ancient records of that city 
testify. This in the ancient copy is called Leycester, by an 
easy mistake for Legecestria or Chester, called by the 
Romans Legionum Cestria. The next summer the men of 
Dublin laid waste the Isle of Anglesey,f and soon after 
Clydawc, the son of Cadelh, was unnaturally slain by his 


* He married the daughter of his uncle Mervyn, the late Prince of Powys. Brit. Ant. 
Revived, hy Mr. R. Vaughan, of Hengwrt, f. 4. 

f Welsh Chron. pp. 45-47. 


brother Meyric, about the same time that the Danes were 
completely overthrown by the English at Tottenhale. But 
Elfleda did not long survive the rebuilding of the city of 
Chester. She was a woman of singular virtues, and one that 
greatly strengthened the kingdom of Mercia by building 
towns and castles against the incursions of the Danes ; as 
Strengat and Bruge, by the forest of Morph, Tarn worth, 
Stafford, Edelburgh, Cherenburgh, Wadeburgh, and Run- 
cofe; after which she entered with her whole army into 
Wales, won Brecknock, and took the queen with thirty-three 
of her attendants prisoners ; which affair in Welsh is called 
" Gwaith y Ddinas Newydd," or the Battle of the New 
City. From thence she marched for Derby, which she 
took from the Danes, losing, however, four of her chief 
commanders in the action. 

The occasion of these two expeditions, according to some, 
was this : Huganus, Lord of West Wales, perceiving King 
Edward to be wholly engaged by the Danish war, gathered 
an army of Britons, and entering England, destroyed the 
king's country. Upon the news of this reaching Elfleda, 
she came to Wales with a great army, fought with the 
Welsh at Brecknock, and putting Huganus to flight, took 
his wife and some of his men prisoners, whom she carried 
with her to Mercia. Huganus being thus defeated, fled to 
Derby, and being there kindly received, joined himself with 
the king's enemies, the Danes. Elfleda being informed of 
that, followed him with her army ; but in storming the 
gates of the town, had four of her best officers killed by 
Huganus. But Gwyane, Lord of the Isle of Ely, her 
steward, setting fire to the gates, furiously attacked the 
Britons and entered the town ; upon which Huganus, per- 
ceiving himself over-matched, chose rather to fall by the 
sword than cowardly to yield himself to a woman. The 
next year Elfleda laid siege to the city of Leicester, which 
was quickly surrendered, and the Danes therein completely 
subdued. The fame of these several actions being noised 
abroad, her neighbours became fearful and timorous ; and 
the Yorkshiremen voluntarily did her homage, and proffered 
their service. She died at Tamwortii, after eight years' 
rule over Mercia, and lies buried at Gloucester, by St. 

After the death of Elfleda, King Edward most ungratefully 
disinherited her daughter, Alfwyen, and entering into Mer- 
cia, took all the province into his own hands, upon pretence 
that she, without his knowledge (whom her mother had 
appointed her guardian), had privily promised and con- 


traded marriage with Raynald King of the Danes. This 
unjust and unnatural action of King Edward's possibly 
brought upon him those great troubles which afterwards 
ensued. For Leofred, a Dane, and Gruffydh ap Madoc, 
brother-in-law to the Prince of West Wales, came from 
Ireland with a great army to Snowdon, and intending to 
bring all Wales and the marches thereof to their subjection, 
over-ran and subdued all the country to Chester before King 
Edward was informed of their arrival : whereat being much 
offended, and unwilling to call upon his subjects for aid, he 
vowed that himself and his sons, with their own followers 
only, would be revenged upon Leofred and Gruffydh ; and 
thereupon marching to Chester, took the city from them. 
Then he separated his army into two divisions, whereof he 
and his son Athelstane led the first, Edmund and Edred 
the second, and followed the enemy so close, that he over- 
took them at the forest of Walewode (now Sherwode), 
where Leofred and Gruffydh turned upon them so fiercely 
that the king at first was in some danger ; until Athelstane 
stepped in and wounded the Dane in the arm so severely, 
that being no longer able to hold his spear, he was taken 
prisoner, and committed to the custody of Athelstane. In 
the mean time, Edmund and Edred, encountering with 
Gruffydh, slew him, and brought his head to their father ; 
and Leofred's head being likewise cut off, they were both 
set up in the city of Chester ; and then Edward, together 
with his sons, triumphantly returned home. King Edward, 
A.D. 924, having built Glademutham, soon afterwards died at Faran- 
don, and his son Alfred expired at the same time at Oxford, 
and they were both buried at Winchester. 

Edward being dead, his illegitimate son Athelstane, who 
had given evidence of great talents, was advanced to the 
throne; being the worthiest prince of the Saxon blood that 
ever reigned. He overcame Cudfry d, father of Raynald, King 
of the Danes, at York, and the country being invaded by 
Hawlaf, King of Ireland, who with all the power of the Scots 
and Danes marched against him, Athelstane gave him battle 
at Brimestbury, and obtained a signal victory, KingHawlaf, 
together with the King of the Scots, and five Kings of the 
Danes and Normans, being slain upon the spot ; so that the 
whole country of England and Scotland became subject to 
him, a degree of power which none of his predecessors had 
attempted to possess. 

S33. Sometime after, Owen, the son of Gruffydh, was slain by 
the men of Cardigan: and then Athelstane, entering with 
his army into Wales, forced the princes thereof to consent 



to pay a yearly tribute of 20 in gold, 300 in silver, 
200* head of cattle; which, however, was not observed, as 
appears by the laws of Howel Dha, wherein it is appointed, 
that the Prince of Abertfraw should pay no more to the 
King of London than 66 tribute; and that the Princes of 
Dinefawr and Powys should pay the like sum to the Prince 
of Aberffraw. King Athelstane was not less terrible abroad, 
than he was reverenced at home, the Kings of France and 
Norway sending him very great and costly presents, to 
obtain his favour and to ensure his good-will. 

This year, Euneth, the son of Clydawc, and Meyric, the A.D. 936. 
son of Cadelh, died. At the same time, King Athelstane 
removed the Britons who lived at Exeter and the neigh- 
bouring country into Cornwall, bounding them by the river 
Cambria (now Tamar), as the Britons of Wales with the 939. 
Wye. Not long after, the noble Prince Athelstane died, to 
the great and inexpressible sorrow of all his subjects, and 
was buried at Malmesbury. He was succeeded by his 
brother Edmund, not inferior to him in courage, and pre- 
ferable by right of nativity, being born in wedlock. In the 
first year of his reign, he gave a very considerable blow to 
the Danes, took from them the towns of Leicester, Derby, 
Stafford, Lincoln, and Nottingham; on which Aulate, 
King of the Danes, finding it impracticable to withstand 
the force of King Edmund, desired peace, and withal to be 
initiated into the Christian Faith ; this was granted, and all 
the Danes received baptism, King Edmund standing god- 
father at the font: after which, both parties concluded 
peace, and Edmund honourably returned to West Saxony. 

The same year died Abloic, chief King of Ireland : and 
the year following, Cadelh, the son of Arthual, a nobleman 
of Wales, was, for reasons not known, imprisoned by the 
English. To revenge this indignity, Edwal Foel and 
his brother Elis gathered their forces together and fought 
against the English and Danes, but were both unhappily 
slain. f 

This Edwal Foel had six sons,T Meyric, levaf, lago, 
Conan, Edwal Fychan, and Roderic: and his brother Elis 
had issue Conan, and a daughter named Trawst,J the 
mother of Conan ap Sitsylht, Gruffydh ap Sitsylht, and 
Blethyn ap Confyn, which two last were afterwards Princes 
of Wales. HOWEL 

* According to Warrington's History of Wales (vol. i. f. 235), two thousand five 
hnndred head of cattle. See Brompton's Chrou. p. 838, with respect to the tribute, with 
the difference only of doubling the number of cattle ; Stowe's Chron. p. 82 ; Welsh Chron. 
p. 50 3 Grafton's Chron. p. 149, published Ann. 15.69. 

t Welsh Chron. 51. 
I Welsh Chron. p. 51 British Antiq. Revived by Vaughan of Hengwrt, p. 14. 



A.D. 940. OWEL DHA had been for a considerable time Prince 
of South Wales and Powys, which government he had so 
justly and discreetly conducted, that upon the death of 
Edwal Foel he was preferred to the entire Principality of 
Wales, notwithstanding Edwal had left behind him several 
sons, who at first murmured at and resented the election of 
Howel Dha. The first thing he did was to enact whole- 
some laws for the benefit of his country, which laws were 
in force in Wales until the time of Edward I. when the 
Welsh received the laws of England, yet not so generally, 
but that in some places these continued long after, and are 
still to be read in the Welsh and Latin tongues : for Howel 
Dha, perceiving the laws and customs of his country to have 
given rise to great abuse, sent for the Archbishop of Mene- 
via, with the rest of the bishops and chief clergy, to the 
number of one hundred and forty, and all the barons and 
nobles of Wales, and ordered that six of the wisest and most 
esteemed persons in every commote should be cited before 
him, at his palace, called y Ty Gwyn ar Taf,* or the White 
House upon the river Taf. Thither coming himself, he 
remained with his nobles, prelates, and subjects for all the 
Lent, using prayers and fasting, and imploring the assistance 
and direction of God's Holy Spirit, that he might reform 
the laws and customs of the country of Wales, to the ho- 
nour of God and the peaceable government of his subjects. 
Towards the end of Lent he chose out of that assembly 
twelve of the wisest and gravest, and persons of the greatest 
experience, to whom he added Blegored,f a man of singular 
learning, and one eminently versed in the laws. To these 
he gave commission to examine the ancient laws and customs 
of Wales, and to collect out of them what was requisite 
towards the government of the country; accordingly they 
retained those that were wholesome and profitable, ex- 
pounded those that were doubtful and ambiguous, and 
abrogated such as were superfluous or injurious classes.ij: 
The laws thus framed were distinguished into three classes : 
the first concerned the order and regulation of the king's 


* Belonging to King Howel. Welsh CLron. p. 53. 

f Blegored or Blegwryd was Chancellor of Llandaff, and brother of Morgan, King 
of Morganwg, and was considered the greatest scholar of his time in Wales. 

J The system was formed on the basis of the ancient national laws, said to have been 
originally framed by Moelmutius, who reigned in Britain 441 years before Christ. 
Holinshead, p. 177. 


household and court ; the second the affairs of the country 
and commonwealth; and the last had regard to special 
customs belonging to particular persons and places; all 
which being publicly proclaimed and generally allowed, 
Prince Howel ordered three copies to be written; one for 
his own use, another to be laid up at his palace of Aber- 
ffraw, and the third at Dinefawr; so that the three pro- 
vinces of Wales might have easy recourse to either of them, 
when occasion required: and for the better observation of 
these laws he caused the Archbishop of St. David to 
denounce sentence of excommunication against all such of 
his subjects as would not obey the same. 

Within a short time after, Howel, to omit nothing that 
might give countenance or authority to these laws, accom- 
panied by Lambert, Archbishop of St. David, Mordaf, 
Bishop of Bangor, and Chebur of St. Asaph, and thirteen 
of the most prudent and learned persons in Wales, took a 
journey to Rome, where the said laws being recited before 
the Pope, were by his Holiness ratified and confirmed: 
after which, Howel, with all his retinue, returned home to 
his country.* 

The particulars of these laws are too numerous to be 
here inserted ;f but it may be observed, that all matters of 
inheritance of land were determined and adjudged by the 
prince in person ; or, if sick, by his special deputy ; and 
that upon view of the same land, citing together the free- 
holders of that place, two elders of his council, the chief 
justice always attending in the court, the ordinary judge of 
the country where the land lay, and the priest. The method 
of their proceeding was in this manner: 

The prince sat in his judicial seat above the rest of the 
court, with an elder on each hand, next to whom the free- 
holders on both sides, who upon that account were probably 
called Uchelwyr. Below the prince, at a certain distance, 
sat the chief justice, having the priest on his right hand 
and the ordinary judge of the country concerned upon the 
left. The court being thus formed, the plaintiff with his 
advocate, champion, and Rhingylh or sergeant, stood on 
the left side of the court, as did the defendant in like man- 
ner on the right : and lastly, the witnesses on both sides 
appeared, and stood at the lower end of the hall, directly 
opposite to the chief justice, to testify the best of their 
knowledge in the matter in debate. After taking the 
depositions of the witnesses, and a full pleading of the 


* Welsh Chron. p. 54 
f Vide Topographical Notices in vol. 2 of this work. 


cause in open court, upon notice given by the sergeant, the 
chief justice, the priest, and the ordinary judge, withdrew 
themselves for a while, to consult of the matter ; and then, 
secundum allegata et probata, brought in their verdict. 
Whereupon the prince, after consultation had with the 
elders that sat next him, gave definite sentence ; excepting 
the cause was so obscure and intricate that the justice of it 
could not be made apparent, and then the two champions 
put an end to the controversy by combat. 

Whilst Howel Dha was thus regulating the customs, and 
meliorating the laws and constitutions of Wales, Aulafe 
and Reginald, Kings of the Danes, forcibly entered the 
country of King Edmund, who being annoyed by their 
incessant hostility, gathered his forces together, and (as 
some say), by the help of Lhewelyn ap Sitsylht, who was 
afterwards Prince of Wales, followed them to North- 
umberland, and having overcome them in a pitched battle, 
utterly drove them out of his kingdom, and remained a 
whole year in those parts to regulate and bring that country 
to quiet subjection : but finding it impracticable to reduce 
the inhabitants of Cumberland to any peaceable condition, 
he spoiled and wasted the country, and gave it up to 
Malcolm King of Scotland, upon condition that he should 
send him succours in his wars whenever demanded of him. 
A.D. 942. In the mean time the Welsh had but little occasion to 
rejoice ; Hubert Bishop of St. David, Marclois Bishop of 
944. Bangor, and Ussa the son of Lhafyr, died : and shortly after, 
the English entering into Wales with a very strong army, 
put the inhabitants into a great consternation; but being 
satisfied with the destruction and spoil of Strat Clwyd, they 
returned home without doing any more mischief. At the 
same time Conan the son of Elis narrowly escaped being 
treacherously put to death by poison; and Evei'us Bishop 
of St. David died. The next year Edmund King of Eng- 
land was unhappily slain upon St. Augustine's day ; but the 
manner of his death is variously stated ; some say, that 
discovering a noted thief, who was outlawed, sitting among 
his guests, being transported with indignation against so 
daring a villain, he ran upon him very furiously : the out- 
law expecting nothing less than death, determined to die 
revenged, and therefore with a short dagger gave the king a 
mortal wound in the breast. Others report, that as the 
king would have rescued a servant of his from an officer that 
had arrested him, he was unwittingly and unhappily slain 
by the same. However his death happened, he lies buried 
at Glastonbury, and his brother Edrcd was crowned King 



of England, who, as soon as he had entered upon his 
government, made an expedition against Scotland and 
Northumberland, which being subdued, he received fealty 
and homage (by oath) of the Scots and Northumbrians; 
an undertaking that they did not long observe. In a short 
time, Howel Dha, after a long and peaceable reign over A. D. 948. 
Wales, died, much lamented by all his subjects, being a 
prince of a religious and virtuous inclination, and one that 
ever regarded the welfare and prosperity of his people. 
He left issue, Owen, Run, Roderic, and Edwyn, betwixt 
whom and the sons of Edwal Foel,* late Prince of North 
Wales, great wars and commotions subsequently arose as to 
the chief rule and government of Wales. 

The sons of Howel Dha, as some writers record, were 
these, viz. Owen who did not long survive his father, 
Eineon, Meredyth, Dyfnwal, and Rodri, the two last of 
whom, as is believed, were slain in the battle fought near 
Lhanrwst in the year 952, by the sons of Edwal Foel ; Run, 
Lord of Cardigan, who was slain before the death of his 
father; Conan y Cwn, who possessed Anglesey; Edwin, 
who was also slain, as is supposed, in the beforementioned 
battle. There was also another battle fought betwixt 
Howel and Conan ap Edwal Foel for the Isle of Anglesey, 
wherein Conan fell ; and Gruffydh his son renewing the war, 
was likewise overcome ; and so Cyngar, a powerful person, 
being driven out of the island, Howel enjoyed quiet posses- 
sion thereof, and of the rest of Gwynedh. It is conjectured 
that this Howel Dha was chosen governor of Wales, during 
the minority of his uncle Anarawd's sons, who, at the death 
of their father, were too young to manage the principality; 
which he kept till his return from Rome, at which time, 
Edwal Foel being come of age, he resigned to him the 
kingdom of Gwynedh or North Wales, together with the 
sovereignty of all Wales. Before which time Howel is 
styled Brenhin Cymry oil, that is, King of all Wales, as is 
seen in the preface to that body of laws compiled by him. 



AFTER the death of Howel Dha, his sons divided 
betwixt them the principalities of South Wales and 
Powys; laying no claim to North Wales, though their 
father had been a general Prince of all Wales. But levaf 

* Welsh Chron. p. 58. 


and lago, the sons of Edwal Foel, having put by their elder 
brother Meyric,* as a person incapable of government, and 
being dissatisfied with the rule of North Wales only, 
imagined that the principality of all Wales was their right, 
as descending from the elder house ; which the sons of 
Howel Dha denied them. Indeed, they had been wrong- 
fully kept out of the government of North Wales during the 
reign of Howel ; in whose time the recovery of their own 
was impracticable, by reason that, for his moderation and 
other good qualities, he had attracted to himself the uni- 
versal love of all the Welsh. But now, he being gone, they 
were resolved to revenge the injury received from him upon 
his sons : and upon a small pretence, they endeavoured to 
reduce the whole country of Wales to their own subjection, 
levaf and lago were indeed descended from the elder 
branch ; but since Roderic the Great conferred the prin- 
cipality of South Wales upon his younger son Cadelh, the 
father of Howel Dha, it was but just his sons should enjoy 
what had legally descended to them from their father: 
ambition, however, seldom gives place to equity ; and there- 
fore, right or wrong, levaf and lago would have a contest 
for South Wales, which they entered with a great army ; 
and being opposed, they obtained a victory over Owen and 
his brethren the sons of Howel, at the hills of Carno.f 
A.D. 950. The next year the two brothers entered twice into South 
Wales, destroyed and wasted Dyfet, and slew Dwnwalhon 

951. Lord of the country : shortly after which, Roderic, the third 

952. son of Howel Dha, died. His brethren perceiving the 
folly of standing only upon the defensive, mustered all their 
forces together, and entering North W ales, marched as far 
as Lhanrwst upon the river Conwy; where levaf and 
lago met them. A very sanguinary battle ensued upon this, 
and a great number were slain on both sides, among whom 
were Anarawd the son of Gwyriad, the son of Roderic the 
Great ; and Edwyn the son of Howel Dha. But victory 
favoured the brothers levaf and lago ; so that the Princes 
of South Wales were obliged to retire to Cardiganshire, 
whither they were warmly pursued; and that country was 

953. severely harassed by fire and sword.J The next year 
Merfyn was unhappily drowned ; and shortly after Congelach 
King of Ireland was slain. 

The Scots and Northumbrians having lately sworn 
allegiance to King Edred, he had scarcely returned to his 
own country, before Aulafe, with a great army, landed in 


* Welsh Chron. pp. 59 and 60. f Welsh Chron. pp. 59 and 60. 

t Welsh Chron. pp. 60 and 61. 


Northumberland, and was with much rejoicing received by 
the inhabitants. Before, however, he could secure himself 
in the government, he was ignominiously banished the 
country ; and the Northumbrians elected one Hircius, the 
son of Harold, for their king. But to shew the inconstancy 
of an unsettled multitude, they soon grew weary of Hircius, 
and after a period of three years expelled him, and volun- 
tarily submitted themselves to Edred, who, after he had 
reigned eight years, died, and was buried at Winchester. 
To him succeeded Edwin the son of Edmund, a man so 
immoderately given to the gratification of his passions that 
he forcibly married another man's wife; for which, and 
other irregularities, his subjects, after four years' reign, set 
up his brother Edgar, who was crowned in his stead ; which 
so much grieved Edwin, that he soon ended his days. The 
summer, that same year, proved so extremely hot, that it A. D. 958. 
caused a dreadful plague in the following spring, which 
swept away a great number of people ; before which, Gwgan 
the son of Gwyriad the son of Roderic died. At this time, 
levaf and lago forcibly managed the government of all 
Wales, and acted according to their own pleasure, no one 
daring to confront or resist them. But notwithstanding all 
their power, the sons of Abloic King of Ireland, ventured 
to land in Anglesey ; and having burnt Holyhead, wasted 
the country of Lhyn. The sons of Edwyn the son of 
Colhoyn, also wasted and ravaged all the country to Towyn, 
where they were intercepted and slain. About the same 9<H- 
time died Meyric the son of Cadfan, Rytherch bishop of 
St. David's, and Cadwalhon ap Owen. Not long after, the 
country of North Wales was cruelly wasted by the army of 965. 
Edgar King of* England ; the occasion of which invasion 
was the non-payment of the tribute that the king of 
Aberffraw, by the laws of Howel Dha, was obliged to pay 
to the King of London. At length a peace was concluded 
upon condition that the Prince of North Wales, instead of 
money, should pay to the King of England the tribute of 
300 wolves yearly,* which animal was then very pernicious 
and destructive to England and Wales. This tribute being 
duly performed for two years, the third year there were 
none to be found in any part of the Island ; so that after- 
wards the Prince of North Wales became exempt from 
paying any acknowledgment to the King of England.f The 
terror apprehended from the English, being by these means 966. 


* Stowe's Chron. p. 83, printed at London, A. D. 1614. Fabian's Chron. p. 249. 
f William Malmesbury, p. 59; Fabian, p. 240; Stowe's Chron. p. 83; Welsh 
Chron. p. 62 (excepting only the number). 


vanished, there threatened another cloud from Ireland; 
for the Irish being animated by their late expedition, 
landed again in Anglesey; and having slain Roderic the 
A.D. 967. son of Edwal Foel, they destroyed Aberffraw. When 
this danger was over, levaf and lago, who had jointly and 
amicably, till now, managed the government of Wales from 
the death of Howel Dha, began to quarrel and disagree 
between themselves; and lago having forcibly laid hands 

968. on his brother levaf, consigned him to perpetual imprison- 
ment. These animosities between the two brothers gave 
occasion and opportunity to Owen prince of South Wales 
to aggrandize himself, by taking possession of the country 

969. of Gwyr.* And to augment the miseries of the Welsh at 
this time, Mactus the son of Harold, with an army of 
Danes, landed in the isle of Anglesey, and spoiled Penmon.f 
King Edgar was so indulgent to the Danes, that he per- 
mitted them to inhabit through all England ; insomuch that 
at length they became as numerous and as powerful as the 
English themselves; and they gave way to such lewd 
courses of debauchery and drunkenness, that very great 
mischiefs ensued thereupon. The king, to reform this im- 
moderate sottishness, enacted a law, that every one should 
drink by measure, and a mark was stamped upon every 

970. vessel, to denote how far it should be filled. Harold having 
taken Penmon, subjected to himself the whole isle of Angle- 
sey, which however he did not keep long, being forced to 
quit the same, and to return home ; as did the fleet of king 
Alfred, which he had sent to subdue Caerlheon upon Use ; 

971. and now being rid of the English and Danes, the Welsh 

972. began to raise commotions among themselves. levaf con- 
tinued still in prison, and to rescue him, his son Howel 
raised a body of forces, and marched against his uncle lago, 
who being vanquished in fight, was forced to quit the 
country. Howel having obtained the victory, took his 
eldest uncle, Meyric, the son of Edwal, prisoner, and having 
directed both his eyes to be put out he was placed in prison, 
where in a woful condition he soon afterwards died, leaving 
two sons, Edwal and lonafal ; the first of which lived to be 
Prince of Wales, and to revenge upon the posterity of 
Howel, the unnatural barbarity exercised towards his father. 
But though Howel delivered his father from his long and 
tedious imprisonment,:}: yet he did not think fit to restore 
him to his principality ; for whether by age or infirmity he 
was incapable, or otherwise, Howel took upon him the sole 


* Gwyr, in Glamorganshire. Welsh Chron. p 62. t Ibid. 

J Welsh Chron. pp. 62, 65. 


government of Wales, which he kept and maintained during 
his lifetime,, but afterwards it descended to his brethren; 
for levaf had issue, besides this Howel, Meyric, levaf, and 
Cadvvalhan ; all three men of great repute and esteem. 

About this time died Morgan Hen,* in his younger days 
called Morgan Mawr, being an hundred years old, having 
lived fifty years after the death of his vvife Elen, daughter of 
Roderic the Great, by whom he had one son called Owen. 
Morgan was a valiant and a victorious prince, and well 
beloved of his subjects ; but sometime before his death, 
Owen, the son of Prince Howel Dha, laid claim to Ystradwy 
and Ewy (called the two Sleeves of Gwent Uwchcoed), 
being the right by inheritance of Morgan, and seized upon 
them to his own use. The matter, however, through the 
mediation of the clergy and nobility, being by both parties 
referred to the decision of Edgar King of England, it was 
by him adjudged, that the said lands did of right belong to 
Morgan, and to the diocese of Lhandaff; and that Owen 
ap Howel Dha had wrongfully possessed himself of them. 
The charter of the said award was made before the arch- 
bishops, bishops, earls, and barons of England and Wales, 
as may be seen at Lhandaff, in an old manuscript called 
y Owtta Cyfarwydd o Forgannwg. And there is some- 
what to the same purport in the old book of Lhandaff; only 
the mistake in both is, that they make Howel Dhaf the 
intruder into the said lands, who had been dead at least 
twenty years before king Edgar began his reign. 


* Also called Morgan Mwynvawr, or Morgan the Courteous. He was of the stock 
of one of the royal tribes of Wales. He is ranked in the Triades* with Rhun and Arthur 
as the three blood-stained warriors of Britain ; and is distinguished with Gwaethvoed and 
Elystan under the appellation of the three band-wearing princes, because they wore 
bands as insignia of state, instead of crowns, like the primitive Christians. 

" The book of Triades, in British Trioedd Ynys Prydain, or " Threes of the Island of Britain," seems 
to have been written about the year 650, and some parts of it collected out of the most ancient monu- 
ments in the kingdom. The Triades have been always quoted by our British poets from age to age. It 
is called by some writers, and by the translator of Camden, " The Book of Triplicities." The Britons, 
as well as other nations of old, had a particular veneration for odd numbers, and especially for that of 
Three. Their most ancient poetry consists of three-lined stanzas, called JEnglyn Milwr, " The Warrior's 
Verse." The most remote history is divided into sections ; being combinations of some three similar 
events. All men of note, whether famous or infamous, were classed together by threes -. virtues and vices 
were tripled together in the same manner-, and the Druids conveyed their instructions in moral and 
natural philosophy to their people in sentences of three parts. .--Royal Tribes. 

f Saxon Laws, published by Wilkins, p. 125, from Lord Littleton's Life, Henry IT. 
vol. 2, p. 89. Tt appears, however, that during the reign of Howel Dha, this prince had 
dispossessed Morgan Hen, the Lord of Glamorgan, of certain districts in that country, 
and that this dispute was tried by Edgar King of England in a full court of prelates and 
nobility of England and Wales, vhen the lands in dispute were adjudged to Morgan Hen 
and his heirs. Spelman's Concilia, p. 414. 



A. D. 973. - OWEL, after he had expelled his uncle lago, and 
forced him to quit his own dominions, took upon himself 
the government of Wales,* in right of his father, who, 
though alive, yet by reason of his years, declined it. About 
the same time Dwnwalhon, Prince of Stradelwyd, took his 
journey for Rome ; and Edwalhon, son of Owen Prince of 
South Wales, died. But the English received a greater 
blow by the death of King Edgar, who was a prince of 
excellent qualities, both warlike and religious, and one that 
founded several monasteries and religious houses, and par- 
ticularly at Bangor : for lago ap Edwal having fled to King 
Edgar, prevailed so far with him, that he brought an army 
into North Wales to restore him to his right. Being ad- 
vanced as far as Bangor, he was honourably received by 
Howel, who, at his request, was contented his uncle lago 
should have a share in the government, as he had in his 
father levafs time. Then Edgar founded a new church at 
Bangor, on the south-side of the Cathedral, which he dedi- 
cated to the blessed Virgin Mary ; and confirmed the 
ancient liberties of that see, and bestowed lands and gifts 
upon it ; after which, with Howel and lago in his company, 
he marched towards Chester, where met him, by appoint- 
ment, six other kings, viz. Kenneth King of the Scots, 
Malcolm King of Cumberland, Macon King of Man, and 
Dyfnwal, Sifrethus, and Ithel, three British kings. These 
eight princes having done homage and sworn fealty to 
him, entered with King Edgar into his barge, and rowed 
him, four on each side, from his palace to the church or 
monastery of St. John the Baptist, and divine service being 
ended, in like state rowed him back again. f To King 
Edgar succeeded his son Edward, surnamed the younger ; 
who, after four years reign, was treacherously slain through 
the treason of his step-mother Elfrida, to make room for 
her own son Edelred, upon pretence of whose minority, 
being a child of only seven years, she might have the 


* Welsh Chron. p. 64. 
f Selden's Mare Clausum,p. 1315. BromptoiTs Chron. p. 869. Matth. Westm.p.287. 

A. D. 975. At this period Dunwallon, Prince of the Strath-Clwyd Britons, who had 
settled in North Wales, intimidated by the cruel ravages of the Danes, or influenced by 
the pious spirit of the age, retired to Rome, and engaged in a religious life. On his 
retreat that small state was re-united to the kingdom of North Wales. Hamffrey Lhuyd, 
p. 32. 


management of the kingdom in her own hands. Whilst the A.D. 976. 
English were in this wavering and unsettled condition, 
Eineon, the son of Owen King of South Wales, the second 
time entered the country of Gwyr, and, having spoiled and 
wasted it, returned home again. This, though it was a very 
great affront to Howel Prince of North Wales, yet he 
thought it most convenient to leave unnoticed, being then 
warmly engaged against the aiders and abettors of his uncle 
lago ; and marching against them with a numerous army, 
consisting of Welsh and English, pursued them to Lhyn 
and Kelynnoc Vawr, the very extremity of Wales ;* where, 
after cruelly ravaging the country and miserably harassing 
the inhabitants, lago was at last taken prisoner ; but he was 
generously received by Howel, who granted him the enjoy- 
ment of his portion of the country peaceably for his life. 
Howel did not deal so kindly with his uncle Edwal Fychan, 
the son of Edwal Foel, who, for some reason not known, 979. 
was slain by him. It may be, that being in a manner secure 
of his uncle lago, he was apprehensive that Edwal Fychan 
would put in a claim to the principality, and therefore he 
judged it convenient to remove this obstacle in time, and to 
send him to seek for it in another world. For nothing has 
been the cause of greater injustice and inhumanity in princes 
than a jealousy and apprehension of rivals and pretenders to 
their government, to prevent which they often sacrifice 
every thing that is just and legal, so that the person offend- 
ing be removed out of the way. Though Howel had mur- 
dered his uncle Edwal Fychan, he could not remove all 
disputes and pretensions as to North Wales: for at that 
same time that he was employed in this unnatural trans- 
action, Cystenyn Dhu, or Constantino the Black, son to 
lago (then prisoner to Howel), having hired an army of 
Danes, under the command of Godfryd the son of Harold, 
marched against his cousin Howel, and entering North 
Wales, destroyed Anglesey and Lhyn ; whereupon Howel, 
having drawn his forces together, fell upon them at a place 
called Gwyath Hirbarth, where the Danes received a very 
great overthrow, and Constantine, the son of lago, was 
slain. f Another army of Danes, however, fared better .in 
England : having landed at and spoiled Southampton, they 
over-ran the countries of Devon and Cornwall, burnt the 
town of Bodmin, whereby the cathedral church of St. 
Petrokes, with the bishop's palace, were laid in ashes ; by 
reason of which disaster the bishop's see was translated to 

c 2 
* Carnarvonshire. f Welsh Chron. p. 65. 


St. Germain's, where it continued until the uniting thereof 
to Crediton. Within a while after, St. Dunstan, archbishop 
of Canterbury, died, a pious and religious man, who fore- 
told very great and almost insupportable calamities that the 
English should endure by the cruel outrages of the Danes. 
A.D. 981. Godfryd, the son of Harold, being highly chagrined at 
the complete route he received of Howel in the quarrel of 
Constantine, was resolved to recover his credit, and to 
revenge himself of the Welsh ; and accordingly he landed 
with a powerful army in West Wales, where, after he had 
spoiled the land of Dyfed, with the church of St. David's, 
he fought the famous battle of Llanwanoc. Harold being 
forced upon this to retire and forsake the country, the fol- 

982. lowing year Duke Alfred, with a considerable number of 
English, came to supply his room and to conquer the 
Welsh ; but he obtained as little advantage or honour as 
Harold in this expedition ; for after he had laid waste and 
destroyed the town of Brecknock, with some part of South 
Wales, he was completely vanquished, and his army almost 
totally cut off by the troops of Eineon, the son of Owen 
Prince of South Wales, and Howel Prince of North Wales, 

who had joined their forces against him.* The Welsh, hav- 

983. ing now quite disabled the Danes and the English, began 
to adopt their old courses to make use of their prosperity 
and quietness from abroad, for quarrelling and creating 
disturbances at home. The inhabitants of Gwentlandf 
imagined themselves very strong and powerful, and there- 
fore endeavoured to shake off their allegiance to their prince, 
and to set up one of their, own making. Owen, Prince of 
South Wales, to subdue the rebellious humour of these 
seditious and turbulent people, sent his son Eineon to per- 
suade them to obedience ; but a distracted multitude, when 
broken loose, is not to be worked upon by arguments, which 
Eineon fatally experienced, who was so far from persuading 
them to their allegiance by fair means, that they set upon 
him, and thinking they had him in their possession who was 
next to succeed, put him at once to death ; and thus most 
ignobly fell this worthy prince, who, in his father's time, 
was the only support of his country, being an able and a 
valiant commander, and one skilfully experienced in the art 
and discipline of war. He had issue two sons, Edwyn and 
Tewdwr Mawr, or Theodore the Great, from whose loins 
several Princes of South Wales descended.J Howel Prince 


* Welsh Chron. p. 66. 

t Comprehending parts of the present counties of Monmouth and Hereford. 
} Welsh Chron. p. 66. 


of North Wales did not, however, regard this dissension 
and rebellion in South Wales, and therefore took oppor- 
tunity to strengthen and multiply his army, with which he 
marched the next year for England, intending to revenge 
the incursions and invasions of the English upon Wales, and 
to destroy and waste their country ; but having entered into 
England, he was presently encountered, upon which, being 
resolved either to return victoriously or to die courageously, 
he exerted his prowess, but in the action was slain,* leaving 
no issue to succeed him in the principality, though in some 
ancient genealogies he is reputed to have had a son called 
Conan y Cwn, 


JH OWEL, the son of levaf, had for a long time enjoyed 
the principality of North Wales, more by main force and 
usurpation, than any right of succession he could pretend to 
it : for lonafal and Edwal the sons of Meyric, the eldest 
son of Edwal Foel, were living, and through their father 
had been rejected as being unfit for government, yet that 
was no reason to deprive them of their right. Indeed, 
Howel could set up no other right or title, than that his 
father levaf had been prince of North Wales before him, 
and this he thought sufficient to maintain his possession 
against the rightful heir, who was unable to oppose or 
molest his wrongful usurpation ; but Howel being slain in 
this rash expedition against the English, and leaving no 
issue, his brother Cadwalhon thought he might rightfully 
take upon him the government of North Wales, seeing his 
father and his brother had without any molestation enjoyed 
the same. However, to make his title secure, he thought 
fit to remove all those who might create any dispute con- 
cerning his right of succession, and to that end, deemed it 
expedient to make away his cousins lonafal and Edwal the 
lawful heirs ; the first of whom he put to death accordingly, 
but Edwal being aware of his intention, privately made his 
escape, and so prevented his wicked design. This unnatural 
dealing with his cousins lonafal and Edwal cost Cadwalhon 
not only his life, but the loss of his principality, and was 
the utter ruin of his father's house ; for he had scarce 
enjoyed his government one year, when Meredith the son of A. D. 985. 


* Welsh Chron. p. 66. 


Owen prince of South Wales entered into North Wales, 
slew Cadwalhon and his brother Meyric,* the only remains 
of the house of levaf, and, under the pretence of conquest, 
possessed himself of the whole country. Here we may 
observe and admire the wisdom of Providence, in permitting 
wrong and oppression for some time to flourish and wax 
great, and afterwards, by secret and hidden methods, 
restoring the posterity of the right and lawful heir to the 
just and pristine estate of his ancestors : for after the death 
of Edwal Foel, Meyric, who by right of birth was legally 
to succeed, was not only deprived of his just and rightful 
inheritance, but had his eyes most inhumanly put out, and 
being condemned to perpetual imprisonment, through grief 
at being so barbarously treated, quickly ended his days ; 
but though his brothers levaf and lago, and Howel and 
Cadwalhon the sons of levaf, successively enjoyed the 
principality of North Wales, yet not one died naturally or 
escaped the revenge of Meyric's ejection. levaf was impri- 
soned by his brother lago, and he, with his son Constantine, 
by Howel the son of levaf, and afterwards Howel fell by 
the hands of the English, and his brethren Cadwalhon and 
Meyric were slain by Meredith ap Owen. On the other 
hand, Edwal ap Meyric, who was right heir of North 
Wales after the death of his brother lonafal, escaped the 
snare intended by Cadwalhon ; and Meredith ap Owen 
having for some time left North W T ales exposed to its 
enemies, because he had enough to do to preserve South 
Wales, Edwal was received by the men of North Wales as 
their true prince. 


A.D.CS?. ]VjEREDITH having defeated and slain Cadwalhon and 
his brother Meyric, the only seeming pretenders to the 
principality of North Wales, took upon himself the rule 
and government of it :f but before he was well confirmed in 
his dominions, Godfryd the son of Harold a third time 
entered into the isle of Anglesey, and having taken Lhyarch 
the son of Owen with 2000 men prisoners, most cruelly put 
out the eyes of Lhyarch, which struck such a terror into 
Prince Meredith, that, with the rest of his army, he forth- 
with made his escape and fled to Cardigan. This loss to 


* Welsh Chron. p 67. 

^ Meredith ruled in Fowys in right of his mother. British Antiq. revived by Vaughan, 
of Hengwrt, pp. 5, 14. 


the Welsh was the same year seconded by another, but of 
another sort ; for there happened such a great and unusual 
murrain, that the principal part of the cattle of Wales 
perished. Nor were the English at this time free from 
adversities and troubles, for the Danes landed again in 
England with several armies, and at Westport and Witest 
gave two English lords, Godan and Britchwould, such a 
defeat, that the king was forced to buy his peace, with the 
payment of 10,000 pounds, which was termed Dane Gelt. 
Within a short time after, King Edelred violated the peace 
himself, and prepared a great fleet, thinking to vanquish the 
Danes at sea ; but it proved otherwise, all his ships being 
either destroyed or taken, together with the Admiral, Alfric 
Earl of Mercia. The Danes being animated with this 
victory, sailed up the mouth of the Humber, and landing in 
Yorkshire, spoiled and destroyed the cities of York and 
Lindsey; but in their march through Northumberland, 
were routed and put to flight by Godwyn and Fridgist, two 
English generals who were sent to oppose them. The same 
time Anlaf King of Norway, and Swane of Denmark, with 
94 gallies, sailed up the Thames and besieged London, 
which the citizens so bravely defended, that the Danes at 
length thought it best to raise the siege; but though they 
could effect nothing against the city, yet the country was at 
their mercy, and therefore leaving their ships, they landed 
and wasted with fire and sword all Kent, Essex, Sussex, 
Surry, and Hampshire; wherefore King Edelred, instead 
of manly opposition in the field, sent ambassadors to treat 
about another payment, and so the Danes being satisfied 
with a great sum of money and victuals, lay quiet that winter 
at Southampton. Upon this composition, Anlaf was invited 
by Edelred, and royally entertained, and being dismissed 
with very many rich presents, he promised upon oath to 
depart the kingdom and never to molest it any more, which 
condition he faithfully performed. 

Whilst the English and the Danes were thus for a time A. D. 987. 
at peace, levaf the son of Edwal, having spent for several 
years a retired and a private life, died ;* and was quickly 
followed by Owen the son of Howel Dha Prince of South 
Wales.f This Owen had three sons, Eineon, who in his 
father's time was slain by the rebels of Gwentland, 
Lhywarch who had his eyes put out by Godfryd the son of 
Harold the Dane, and Prince Meredith, who had already 
conquered North Wales, and now upon his father's death 
took possession also of South Wales, without any regard to 


* Welsh Chron. p. 70. f Il " d - 


the rights of Edwyn and Theodore the sons of Eineon his 
elder brother. But upon his advancement to his new princi- 
pality, he narrowly escaped no very small troubles ; for the 
Danes at Hampton quickly broke the league with king 
Edelred, and sailing towards the west greatly annoyed the 
coasts of Cornwal and Devonshire, and at last landed in 
South Wales. Having destroyed St. David's, Lhanbadarn, 
Lhanrhystyd, Lhandydoch, and several other religious 
places, the country was so much harassed and weakened 
that Prince Meredith was forced to compound with them, 
A. D. 988. and to pay a tribute of one penny for every person within 
his dominions, which in Welsh was called Glwmaem, or the 
tribute of the black army. Ireland also at this time received 
no inconsiderable blow from the Danes, who slew Elwmaen 
the son of Abloic king of the country, and so ravaged and 
laid waste that kingdom, that a great number of the natives 
perished by famine. 

The year following, Owen the son of Dyfnwal, a man of 

989. considerable note and reputation among the Welsh, was 
slain, which was the only remarkable event that happened 
this year; but in the next year Edwin ap Eineon, who was 
right heir to the principality of South Wales, having 

990. procured the aid of a great army of English and Danes 
entered in great force into Meredith's country, spoiled all 
the land of Cardigan, Dyfed, Gwyr, Kydwely, and St. 
David's, and received hostages of the chief persons of thoee 

991. countries to own him as their rightful prince. To avenge 
these outrages upon Edwyn, Meredith destroyed the town 
of Radnor, spoiled Glamorgan, and carried away the chief 
men thereof prisoners, who on paying their ransom were set 
at liberty. Whilst Wales was in this distracted condition, 
and scarce any place free from hostility, Meredith and 
Edwyn were happily reconciled, and the differences were 
composed that had existed between them, so that the 
English and Danes who came in with Edwyn, and who 
expected to reap an harvest out of these civil disturbances 
of the Welsh, were unexpectedly dismissed and sent home. 
Soon after this agreement, Cadwalhon, the only son of 
Meredith, died, which rendered the composition between 
Meredith and Edwyn more firm, by reason that this latter 
thought now that he should without any dispute succeed 
Meredith in the principality. This, however, did not take 
place, for Meredith being very much disturbed in South 
Wales, had so much work upon his hands to defend that 
country, that he left North Wales exposed to the common 
enemy, which the Danes were quickly acquainted with, and 



so landing in Anglesey, they ravaged and laid waste the 
whole island. The men of North Wales finding themselves A. D. 992. 
thus forsaken by Meredith, and their country in danger of 
being over-run by the Danes, if not timely prevented, set 
up Edwal the son of Meyric, the indisputable heir of North 
Wales, though long kept from it, and owned him for their 
prince.* These incessant wars and commotions in South 
Wales, occasioned a great famine in the country, of which 
. a considerable number of people perished. Meredith, how- 
ever, who had once conquered North Wales, and for a long 
time had got possession of South Wales, without any right 
or title to either, was now obliged to relinquish the one, and 
was scarcely able to maintain the other. 


JCjDWAL, after a long and tedious expectation, being 993. 
now joyfully received by the men of North Wales as their 
prince, endeavoured, in the first place, to defend his sub- 
jects from the injuries and depredations they received from 
the Danes ; and having in a measure effected that, he was 
accosted by another enemy ; for Meredith being resolved to 
revenge the indignity and disgrace inflicted upon him by the 
men of North Wales, in depriving, him of the government 
of their country, gathered together all his power, intending 
to recover possession of that principality. Having advanced 
as far as Lhangwm,f Edwal met him, and in open battle 
routed his army; in which action Theodore or Tewdwr 
Mawr, Meredith's nephew, was slain,{ leaving two sons, 
Rhys and Rytherch, and a daughter named Elen. It is, 
however, deemed probable that it was not Tewdwr Mawr, 
but his brother Edwyn, that was slain in this battle, which 
also seems rather to have been fought at Hengwm in Ar- 
dudwy, in Merionethshire, than at Lhangwm, for in Hen- 
gwm there are to this day certain monuments of victory to 
be seen, as heaps of stones, tomb-stones, and columns, 
which they call Carneddi Hengwm. Edwal returning home 
triumphantly after this victory, thought he had now secured 
himself in his government, and expected to enjoy his 
dominions without molestation. He had, however, scarcely 
recovered the fatigue of the last engagement, when Swane 
the son of Harold, having lately pillaged and wasted the 
Isle of Man, landed in North Wales, whom Edwal endea- 
* Welsh Chron. p. 71. f Llangwm, in Denbighshire. J Welsh Chron, p. 72. 


vouring to oppose, was slain in the encounter, leaving one 
son,* called lago. Within a short time the Danes returned 
again against St. David's, and destroying all before them 
with fire and sword, slew Morgeney, or Urgency, bishop of 
that diocese. Prince Meredith being highly concerned at 
the mischiefs these barbarous people continually did to his 
country, and the more, because he was not able to repel 
their insolencies, died of grief and vexation, having issue an 
only daughter named Angharad, who was twice married ; 
first to Lhewelyn ap Sitsyhlt, and after his death to Confyn 
ap Hirdref, or, as others think, to Confyn ap Gwerystan. 
She had children by both husbands, which occasioned after- 
wards many disturbances and civil commotions in Wales, 
the issue of both marriages pretending a right of succession 
to the principality of South Wales. f 


Prince of North Wales, being killed in the 
battle against Swane, and having no other issue than lago, 
who was a minor, and too young to take upon him the 
government; and Meredith, Prince of South Wales, dying 
without any other issue than a daughter, caused various 
quarrels and contentions among the Welsh, several, without 
any colour of right, putting in their claim and pretensions to 
the government. In North Wales, Conan the son of Howel, 
A.D. 1003. and Aedan the son of Blegorad, were the chief aspirers to 
that principality; and because they could not agree who 
should be the governor, they determined to try the matter in 
open field, where Conan had the misfortune to be slain; 
and so Aedan was victoriously proclaimed Prince of North 
Wales.* Who this Aedan was descended from, or what 
colour or pretence he could lay to the principality, is matter 
of great doubt, there being none of that name to be met 
with in any Welsh records, excepting Blegorad who is 
mentioned in the line of Howel Dha, whose estate and 
quality were not sufficient to countenance any claim of his 
posterity to the principality of Wales. But be that as it 
may, Aedan, after his victory over Conan ap Howel, was 
owned Prince by the men of North Wales, over whom he 
bore rule for the space of twelve years ; though, besides his 
conquest of Conan ap Howel, there is nothing recorded of 
1015. him, excepting his being slain, together with his four sons, 
by Lhewelyn ap Sitsylht. 


* Welsh Chron. p. 73. t Ibid. p. 73. J Ibid. pp. 74, 83. 


While the Welsh were in this unsettled condition, the 
Scots began to grow powerful in Ireland, and having de- 
stroyed the town and country of Develyn, they took Gulfath 
and Ubiad, two Irish lords, prisoners, whose eyes they 
inhumanly put out. The Danes also, who had lately made 
their incursions into South Wales, began now to molest the 
English : having landed in the west, they passed through 
the counties of Somerset, Dorset, Hants, and Sussex, de- 
stroying and burning all before them; and advancing with- 
out any opposition as far as the river Medway, they laid 
siege to Rochester, which the Kentish men endeavoured to 
preserve by assembling themselves together and giving the 
Danes battle, but they were vanquished in the undertaking. 
King Edelred was then in Cumberland, where the Danes 
were more numerously planted, which country he kept quiet 
and in subjection. In the mean time another army of Danes 
landed in the west, against whom the country people of 
Somersetshire assembled themselves, and shewed their 
readiness to attack them, but wanting a leader, were easily 
put to the rout, and the Danes ruled and commanded the 
country at their pleasure. The King being much harassed 
by the insolence and continual depredations of the Danes, 
thought convenient to strengthen himself by some powerful 
affinity, and to that end sent ambassadors to Richard Duke 
of Normandy, desiring his daughter Emma in marriage, 
and requesting aid to repel the Danish incursions. Here 
it is observable, that as the Saxons, being formerly called 
over as friends and allies to the well-meaning Britons, 
violently and wrongfully possessed themselves of the great- 
est part of the island, so now the Normans, being invited 
to aid the English against the Danes, took so great a liking 
to the country, that they never gave over their design of 
obtaining it till they became conquerors of the whole island. 
The mischief of calling in the Normans had been foretold to 
King Edelred, but he was so far concerned about the present, 
calamities caused by the Danes, that he was deaf to all 
considerations as to the future ; and therefore, being elated 
with hopes of increase of strength by this new alliance, he 
sent private letters to all cities and towns throughout his 
dominions where the Danes were quartered, requiring them 
all upon St. Brice's night to massacre the Danes, which was 
accordingly performed with much unanimity and secrecy. 
This cruel act was so far from discouraging the Danes, that 
they now began to vow the eradication of the English nation, 
and to revenge that unmanly massacre of their countrymen ; 
to which end they landed in Devonshire, and over-running 



the country with fire and sword, spared nothing that had the 
least spark of life in it. The city of Exeter they razed to 
the ground, and slew Hugh the Norman, whom the Queen 
had recommended to the government of it. To prevent 
their further incursions, Almarus Earl of Devon gathered 
a great army out of Hampshire and Wiltshire and the 
country thereabouts, and marched with a determined reso- 
lution to oppose the Danes; but they put Almarus to flight, 
and pursued him to Wilton and Salisbury, which being 
ransacked and plundered, they carried the pillage thereof 
triumphantly to their ships. 

A. D. 1004. The next year Swane, a prince of great repute in Den- 
mark, landed upon the coast of Norfolk and laid siege to 
Norwich, and wasted the country thereabouts. Wolfkettel, 
Duke of that country, being too weak to oppose him, 
thought it most convenient to make a peace with the Dane ; 
which was quickly broken, and then Swane marched pri- 
vately to Thetford, and after he had spoiled and ransacked 
that place, he returned with his prey to his ships. Wolf- 
kettel hearing this, privately drew up his forces, and 
marched against the enemy ; but being far inferior in 
number, the Danes defeated him, and afterwards sailed to 
their own country. Within two years after, the Danes 
returned again, bringing with them their usual companions, 
fire, sword, and spoliation, and landed at Sandwich ; after 
they had burnt and pillaged that place, they sailed to the 
Isle of Wight, where they took up their quarters till 
Christmas : and then coming forth thence, they over-ran, 
by several parties, the countries of Hampshire and Berk- 
shire, as far as Reading, Wallingford, and Colsey ; devour- 
ing, for want of other plunder, all the provisions they found 
in the houses, and destroyed the same with fire and sword 
at their departure. In their return they met with the army 
of the West Saxons near Essington, but this consisting only 
of a raw and inexperienced rabble, was easily broken 
through, and the Danes passing triumphantly by the gates 
of Winchester, got safe with great booty to the Isle of 
Wight. King Edelred all this while lay at his manor-house 
in Shropshire, much troubled and concerned at these unin- 
terrupted devastations of the Danes; and the nobility of 
England, willing rather to save some than lose all they 
possessed, bought their peace of the Danes for the sum of 
30,000 pounds. During the interval of repose thus obtained, 
King Edelred, rousing his drooping spirits, ordained, that 
every three hundred hides of land (one hide being as much 
as one plough can sufficiently till) through his dominions 



should man and fit out a ship, and every eight hides provide 
a corslet and a helmet; besides which the king had no 
inconsiderable navy sent him from Normandy. This fleet 
when rendezvoused at Sandwich seemed very powerful in 
those days, and was the greatest that had ever down to that 
period rode upon the British sea. And now, when it was 
thought that all things would go well with the English, of a 
sudden another cloud appeared ; for one Wilnot, a noble- 
man of Sussex, being banished by King Edelred, got to sea 
with a small number of ships, and practised piracy along 
the coasts of Britain, greatly annoying all merchants and 
passengers. Brightrych, brother to the traitorous Edric A.D. 1008. 
Earl of Mercia, thinking to advance his reputation by some 
signal exploit, promised to bring Wilnot dead or alive before 
Edelred : to which end he set forth with a considerable fleet ; 
which meeting with a terrible storm, was by the tempest 
driven back, and wrecked upon the shores ; so that a great 
number of the ships were lost, and the rest burnt by Wilnot 
and his followers. Brightrych being dismayed with this 
unfortunate beginning, returned ingloriously by the Thames 
back to London ; so that this great preparation against the 
Danes was dashed to pieces and came to nothing. 

The Danes were not ignorant of the misfortune the 1009. 
English received by this storm, and without any further 
enquiry, landed at Sandwich, and so passed on to Canter- 
bury, which they intended to destroy, but were prevented 
by the citizens paying 3000 pounds. Passing from thence, 
through Kent, Sussex, and Hampshire, they came to Berk- 
shire, where King Edelred at length met with them, and 
determining resolutely to attack them, was by the cunning 
insinuations and subtile arguments of the traitor Edric 
dissuaded from fighting. The Danes being thus delivered 
from the danger which they certainly expected, passed on 
joyfully by the city of London, and with great booty returned 
to their ships. The next year they landed again at Ipswich, 
upon Ascension Day, where Wolfkettel met them by a 
spirited encounter ; but being overpowered by numbers, he 
was forced to fall back and yield the victory to the Danes. 
Passing from thence to Cambridge, they met with Ethelstan, 
King Edelred's nephew by his sister, who with an army 
endeavoured to oppose them ; but the Danes proving too 
powerful, he with many other noblemen were slain ; among 
whom were Duke Oswyn and the Earls Edwyn and Wol- 
frike. From hence the Danes passed through Essex, 
leaving no manner of cruelty and barbarity unpractised, and 
returned laden with booty to their ships, which lay in the 



A.D. 1010. Thames. They could not, however, continue long in their 
vessels ; and therefore sallying out, they passed by the river 
side to Oxford, which they ransacked again; adding to 
their prey the plunder of the counties of Buckingham, 
Bedford, Hertford, and Northampton, and having accom- 
plished that year's cruelties, at Christmas they returned to 
their ships. Yet the prey of the country from the Trent 
loll. southward did not satisfy these unmerciful barbarians; for 
as soon as the season gave them leave to peep out of their 
dens they laid siege to the city of Canterbury, which being 
delivered up by the treachery of Almarez the Archdeacon, 
was condemned to blood and ashes, and Alfege the Arch- 
bishop carried prisoner to the Danish fleet, where he was 
1012. cruelly put to death. The next year Swane King of Den- 
mark came up the Humber and landed at Gainesborow, 
whither repaired to him Uthred Earl of Northumberland 
with his people, the inhabitants of Lindsey, with all the 
countries northward of Watling-street, being a highway 
crossing from the east to the west sea, and gave their oath 
and hostages to obey him ; on which, King Swane finding 
his undertaking fortunate beyond expectation, committed 
the care of his fleet to his son Canute, and marched himself 
first to Oxford, and then to Winchester; which cities, 
probably through fear of further calamities, readily acknow- 
ledged him for their king. From thence he marched for 
London, where King Edelred then lay, and which was so 
ably defended by the citizens, that he was likely to effect 
nothing against it ; and therefore he directed his course to 
Wallingford and Bath, where the principal men of the West 
Saxons yielded him subjection. The Londoners too, at last, 
fearing his fury and displeasure, made their peace, and sent 
him hostages ; which city being thus received under his 
subjection, Swane from that time was accounted King of 
all England. King Edelred perceiving all his affairs in 
England to go against him, and his authority and govern- 
ment reduced to so narrow a compass, and having sent his 
queen with his two sons Edward and Alfred to Normandy, 
he thought it expedient within a short time to follow himself. 
He was honourably received by his brother-in-law Richard ; 
and had not been there long before news arrived of the death 
of Swane, and that he was desired by the English to return 
to his kingdom. Being animated and comforted with this 
cheering news, he set forward with a great army to England, 
and landing at Lindsey, he cruelly harassed that province, 
by reason that it had owned subjection to Canute the son of 
Swane, whom the Danes had elected king in his father's 



stead. King Canute being at Ipswich, and certified of the 
arrival of King Edelred, and the devastation of Lindsey, 
and fearing that his authority was going down the wind, 
barbarously cut off the hands and noses of all the hostages 
he received from the English, and presently set sail for 
Denmark. Whilst England was in this general confusion, 
there occurred as great a storm in Ireland ; for Brian king 
of that island, and his son Murcath, with other kings of the 
country subject to Brian, joined their forces against Sutric 
the son of Abloic King of Dublin, and Mailmorda King of 
Lagenes. Sutric being of himself too weak to encounter so 
numerous a multitude, hired all the pirates and rovers who 
cruised upon the seas, and then gave Brian battle, who, with 
his son Murcath, were slain ; and on the other side, Mail- 
morda, and Broderic General of the auxiliaries. 

But Canute, though he was in a manner forced to forsake A .D. 1013. 
England upon the recalling of King Edelred, did not 
abandon all his pretence to the kingdom ; and therefore the 
next year he came to renew his claim, and landed with a 
powerful force in West-Sex, where he exercised very great 
hostility. To prevent his incursions, Edric, and Edmund 
(bastard son to Edelred), raised their forces separately; but 
when both armies were united, they durst not, either for 
fear or because of the dissension of the two generals, fight 
with the Danes. Edmund therefore passed to the north, 
and joined with Uthred, Duke of Northumberland, and both 
together descended and spoiled Stafford, Leicester, and 
Shropshire. On the other side, Canute marched forcibly 
through Buckingham, Bedford, and Huntingdonshire, and 
so (by Stafford) passed toward York, whither Uthred has- 
tened, and, finding no other remedy, submitted himself, 
with all the Northumbrians, to Canute, giving hostages for 
the performance of what they then agreed upon. Notwith- 
standing this submission, Uthred was treacherously slain, 
not without the permission of Canute, and his dukedom 
betowed upon one Egrick, a Dane ; whereupon Edmund 
left them, and went to his father, who lay sick at London. 
Canute, returning to his ships, presently followed, and 
sailed up the Thames towards London ; but before he could 
come near the city King Edelred was dead, after a trou- 
blesome reign of thirty-seven years. On his decease, the 
English nobility chose his base son Edmund (for his eminent 
strength and hardiness in war, surnamed Ironside) as their 
king. Upon this, Canute brought his whole fleet up the 
river to London, and, having cut a deep trench round the 
town, invested it on all sides ; but being valorously repulsed 



by the defendants, he detached the best part of his army to 
fight with Edmund, who was marching to raise the siege ; 
and both armies meeting in battle at Proman by Gillingham, 
Canute with his Danes were put to flight ; but as soon as 
time and opportunity permitted him to recruit his forces, 
Canute gave Edmund a second battle at Caerstane : Edric, 
Almar, and Algar, however, covertly siding with the Danes, 
Edmund had great difficulty in maintaining the fight obsti- 
nately till night and weariness parted them. Both armies 
having suffered considerably in this action, Edmund went to 
West-Sex to reinforce himself, and the Danes returned to 
the siege of London, whither Edmund quickly followed, 
raised the siege, forced Canute and his Danes to betake 
themselves in confusion to their ships, and then entered 
triumphantly into the city. Two days after, passing the 
Thames at Brentford, he fell upon the Danes in their retreat, 
by which lucky opportunity obtaining a considerable victory, 
he returned again to raise recruits among the West Saxons. 
Canute, upon Edmund's removal, appeared again before 
London, and invested it by land and water, but in vain ; the 
besieged so manfully and resolutely defending themselves, 
that it was impossible to master the town before Edmund 
could come to the relief of it : and this they soon experi- 
enced; for Edmund, having augmented his forces, again 
crossed the Thames at Brentford, and came to Kent in 
pursuit of Canute, who upon giving battle was so signally 
defeated at first, and his men put to such rout, that there 
wanted nothing of a full and absolute victory but the firm 
adherence of the traitor Edric, who perceiving the advan- 
tage to incline to Edmund, and the Danes likely to receive 
their final blow, cried aloud, " Fled Engle, Fled Engle, 
Edmund is dead," and thereupon fled with that part of the 
army under his command, leaving the king overpowered 
with numbers. By this desertion and treachery the English 
were at last overthrown, and a great number slain, among 
whom were Duke Edmund, Duke Alfric, Duke Godwyn, 
and Wolfkettel, the valiant Duke of the East Angles, together 
with all the English cavalry, and a great portion of the 
nobility. After this victory Canute marched triumphantly 
to London, and was crowned king ; but Edmund, resolving 
to try his fortune in another field, mustered together all the 
forces he could, and meeting with Canute in Gloucestershire 
intended to give him battle : considering, however, what 
cruel and unnatural bloodshed had already been caused, 
both generals agreed to put an end to their tedious quarrel 
by single combat ; and the place being appointed, Edmund 



and Canute attacked each other very vigorously, till at last 
Canute perceiving it impracticable to vanquish a man like 
Ironsides, laid down his weapon, making an offer to divide 
the kingdom fairly betwixt them : Edmund was not dis- 
pleased at the proposal, and therefore both parties sub- 
mitted to this decision, that Edmund should rule the West- 
Saxons and the South ; Canute in Mercia and all the 
North ; and so they parted friends, Canute moving to 
London, and Edmund to Oxford. But Edric was not 
satisfied that Edmund should have any share at all of the 
government, and therefore he resolved to conspire against 
his life, and to deliver the whole kingdom of England into 
the hands of Canute ; of whom he might reasonably expect 
for this, and other traitorous services, a very ample and an 
answerable return. This he committed to one of his own 
sons to put in execution, a scion of the old stock, and one 
early versed in wicked and traitorous designs, who, per- 
ceiving the king to go to stool, thrust a sharp knife up his 
fundament, of which wound he immediately died. Edric 
being soon informed of the fact, hastened to London, and 
with great joy and loud acclamations came to Canute, 
greeting him as sole King of England, and withal, telling 
him in what manner, and by whose means, his old enemy, 
King Edmund, was assassinated, at Oxford. Canute, 
though pleased at the death of Edmund, was a person of 
greater honour than to commend so horrible a deed, though 
done to an enemy, and therefore told Edric, that he would 
without fail take care to reward him as his deserts required, 
and would advance him above all the nobility of England, 
which was quickly performed, his head being placed upon 
the highest tower in London, for a terror to such villainous 
traitors to their king. Edric was thus deservedly dis- 
appointed of the mighty thoughts he entertained of great- 
ness upon the advancement of King Canute : this generous 
Dane scorned his baseness, and having paid Edric a traitor's 
reward, caused execution to be done upon all his accom- 
plices, and upon all those that consented to the base murder 
of that brave Prince, King Edmund. 

About the same time there happened great disturbance A.D.10W. 
and commotion in Wales; Lhewelyn ap Sytsylht having 
for some years been still and quiet, began now to bestir 
himself, and having drawn all his forces together, marched 
against Aedan, who forcibly and without any legal pretence 
had entered upon, and for all this time had kept himself in, 
the government of North Wales. Aedan would not quietly 



surrender what had been so long in his possession, and to 
maintain which, he now gave Lhewelyn battle; but the 
victory going against him, he and his four sons were slain 
upon the spot : on which Lhewelyn, without any regard to 
the claim of lago the son of Edwal, the right heir, took 
upon himself the title and authority of Prince of all Wales. 
His pretension to North Wales was, as being descended 
from Trawst, daughter to Elis, second son to Anarawd, who 
was the eldest son of Roderic the Great;* and to South 
Wales, as having married Angharad, the only daughter of 
Meredith Prince of South Wales; by virtue of which pre- 
tensions he assumed to himself the government of all Wales. 


JLjHEWELYN having, as already stated, taken upon 
him the general government of Wales, managed his charge 
with such prudence and moderation, that the country in a 
short time became very flourishing and prosperous; peace 
and tranquillity being established produced plenty and in- 
crease of all things necessary to human subsistence: for 
there was none that could lay any claim or pretence to 
either of the principalities, excepting Ingo the son of Kdwal, 
who was indeed lawful heir of North Wales, but either too 
weak to withstand or unwilling to disturb Lhewclyn's title, 
and therefore lay quiet for a time, expecting a better oppor- 
tunity to recover his r'mht. In the mean time Canute 
being crowned King of all England, married Emma the 
widow of King Edelred ; and for the better securing the 
English crown to himself and his heirs, he thought it expe- 
dient to dispatch Edmund and Edward Ilie sons of Ironsides 
out of the way. Lest, however, such an execrable fact 
should seem too black to be done in England, he sent the 
two youths to Solomon King of Hungary, request .ing him to 
use some convenient opportunity to take siway their lives; 
which seemed to Solomon so very unnatural, that instead of 
complying with Canute's request, lie educated and brought 
them up as his own children. Canute imagined now that 
his (ear was over, and his business effectually finished, so 
that he could the more boldly demand of his subjects what 
either his necessity or curiosity would prompt him to ; and 
reflecting with himself what excessive expense he- had been 
ut in the conquest of England, was resolved that the 


Brit, Ant. revived by Vanglian of Hongwrt, p. 14. 


English should repay him, and therefore required a sub- 
sidy of seventy-two thousand pounds, besides eleven thou- 
sand which the city of London contributed. At this time, 
M eyrie the son of Arthtael, a person of quality in Wales, 
rebelled, end raised an am -t Prince Lhewelyn, who 

as soon as he appeared in the field to quell this mal-content 
General, met with him and manfully slew him with his own 
hand, and easily discomfited his followers.* About this 
time also Canute sailed over to Denmark, and made war 
upon the Vandals, who, notwithstanding they had a greater 
army in the field, were overcome by the incomparable 
valour of Earl Godwyn ; for which famous action Canute 
held the English in great esteem ever after. 

Lhewelyn Prince of Wales, though he had lately quelled A. 
the roMs headed by Meyric, had now to encounter another 
difficulty, which seemed to threaten greater disturbance and 
trouble to him ; for a certain person of a mean quality in 
land coming to South Wales, assumed the name of 
Run,f and em out that he was the son of Meredith Prince 
of South Wales: to whom joir.ed a great number of the 
nobility, who had no great aflection for Lhewelyn, and 
proclaimed Rim Prince of South Wales. Lhewelyn being 
then in North A\ ales, was informed of this famous impostor, 
and assembling an army together, marched to meet him, 
who, with the whole strength of South Wales, then lay at 
Tsiwili.J where he waited the arrivsl of Lhewelyn. 
When both armies were ready to join battle, Run made a 
vaunting speech to his soldiers, assuring them of victory, 
and so persuading them courageously to fall on, private! y 
himself retired out of harm's way ; so that there was on the 
one side a valiant army under a cowardly general, and on 
the other part a valiant and a noble commander engaging 
with a slow and a faint-hearted army : for Lhewelvn,~like a 
bold and courageous prince, ventured into the miclst of liis 
enemies, whilst Run privately sneaked off out of all danger; 
and die men of South Wales were more fierce and eager in 
the cause of a pretender than the men of North Wales to 
tain the quarrel of a prince of their own blood. After 
great slaughter on both sides, the men of North Wales 
calling to mind the several victories they had obtained, and 
beini in a great degree animated by the incomparable 
valour of their prince, fell on so warmly that they put their 
enemies to flight, and pursued Run so close, that notwith- 
standing his several devices, he was at last overtaken and 

F -2 

Wefch Chron p. SV f ^W Chi^o p S&. 


slain. Lhewelyn, after this victory, returned laden with 
spoil into North Wales,* and for some time lived peaceably 
and without disturbance: but the next year, Howel and 
Meredith, the sons of Edwyn, conspired against him and 
slew him. He left a son called Gruffydh ap Lhewelyn,f 
who afterwards, though not immediately, ascended to the 
principality of North Wales, 



. 'N the death of Lhewelyn, lago the son of Edwal, the 
true heir to the principality of North Wales, who had 
been so long wrongfully kept from it, thought this the best 
opportunity to enter upon his right, by reason of the mi- 
nority of Gruffydh the son of Lhewelyn; upon which 
pretence, likewise, Rytherch the son of lestyn forcibly 
assumed the principality of South Wales. About the same 
time, Canute King of England sailed over to Denmark and 
Sweden, against Ulf and Alaf, who had excited the Fin- 
landers against him, whom he subdued, though with the 
loss of a great part of his army, as well English as Danes. 
W r ithin a while after his return to England, he made a very 
pompous and magnificent journey to Rome ; more to satisfy 
his ambitious temper, and to signify to the world his great- 
ness and might, which he expressed by his costly presents 
and princely behaviour, than in any way to make atonement 
for the oppression and bloodshed by which he had estab- 
lished himself in his kingdom : for what holiness and morti- 
fication he had learnt at Rome presently appeared upon his 
return to England ; when, without any provocation, he 
marched with an army into Scotland, and forced Malcolm 
the king thereof, together with Molbeath and Jermare, the 
kings of the Orkneys and Ewist, to do him homage. 
A . D. 1031. The affairs of Wales were at this time very turbulent and 
unsettled; for Howel and Meredith, after the murder of 
Prince Lhewelyn, expected to enjoy some part of his prin- 
cipality themselves, but finding that lago had seized upon 
North Wales, and Rytherch upon South Wales, and withal 
perceiving their own power too weak to oppose their de- 
signs, they invited over the Irish-Scots to their aid against 
Rytherch ap lestyn, Prince of South Wales. By the help 


* Welsh Chron. pp. 85, 86. 

Wish Chron. ibid. Ap Einion. ap Owen ap Howel Dh. The word aj>, which 90 
frequently occurs in Welsh names, signifies a son. 

I Lineally descended from Roderic the Great, but had been long unjustly excluded. 
Welsh Chron. pp. 87, 8e. Warringtou, vol. 1, p. 312. 


of these, Howel and Meredith prevailed over Rytherch, 
who being at length slain, they jointly took upon themselves 
the rule and government of South Wales. This, however, 
was not a sufficient title to establish them so firmly in it 
that their usurpation would not be called in question ; for A. D. 1033, 
the sons of Rytherch, presently after their father's death, 
gathered their forces together to fight with the brothers 
Howel and Meredith, who met at Irathwy,* where a cruel 
battle was fought, called Gwaith Irathwy; and at last the 
sons of Rytherch were put to flight. Though these vic- 
tories, the one over Rytherch, and the second over his sons, 
seemed in a great measure to favour Howel and Meredith's 
pretence to and establishment in the principality; yet the 
unpardonable crime of the murder of Lhewelyn, a prince of 1033. 
so extraordinary qualities, could not remain long unreveng- 
ed ; for the sons of Conan the son of Sitsyiht, Prince 
Lhewelyn's brother, were resolved to avenge their uncle's 
murder upon the two usurpers, which in a short time they 
effected against Meredith, who met with the same end from 
the sons of Conan that he had formerly inflicted upon 
Lhewelyn. These civil discords in Wales were quickly 1034. 
discovered by the English, who, taking advantage of so fair 
an opportunity, entered with a great army into the land of 
Gwent, where, after they had committed considerable waste 
for some time, Caradoc the son of Rytherch ap lestyn gave 
them battle, but was in that engagement unhappily slain. 
Shortly afterwards died King Canute, the most famous and 1035. 
the mightiest prince then in the western parts of the world, 
whose dominions extended over all Sweden, from Germany 
almost to the North Pole, together with the kingdoms of 
Norway and Denmark, and the noble island of Britain. To 
him succeeded his son Harold, for his swiftness surnamed 
Harefoot, begotten upon Alwyn, the daughter of Duke 
Alselyn, though several firmly contended for Hardycanute, 
his other son by Ernma, who was then in Denmark. Harold, 
however, being advanced to the throne, took care to estab- 
lish himself as firmly as he could in it, and to that end 
thought it expedient to banish out of his dominions his 
mother-in-law Emma, who was endeavouring to promote the 
interest of her own son Hardycanute, and to bring him to 
the crown of England. 

Whilst Harold was by these measures settled in his 1037. 
dominions, lago ap Edwal was on the point of losing his 
principality of North Wales; for Gruffydh the son of 
Lhewelyn ap Sitsyiht, sometime Prince of North Wales, 


* Welsh Chron. pp. 87, 88. 


having intimated his intention of rebelling against lago, was 
so generously encouraged and universally followed by all 
people, for the love they bore to his father, that in a short 
time his army amounted to an invincible number. However, 
lago was not so thoroughly affrighted as to give up his 
principality without drawing a sword for it ; but providing 
for himself as well as he could, and drawing together such 
forces as he could assemble, he gave Gruffydh battle, when 
his number being far too weak to oppose so great an army as 
that of Gruffydh, he was presently overpowered and put to 
the rout, and himself slain, leaving a son called Conan, by 
his wife Afandred, daughter to Gweir the son of Pyhl.* 


J AGO ap Edwal being slain, Gruffydh ap Lhewelyn was 
received with loud acclamations, and joyfully greeted as 
Prince of North Wales, and treading in his father's steps, 
demeaned himself in his government with that prudence and 
conduct, that he manfully defended his country against the 
frequent invasions of the English and Danes ; for he was 
scarcely settled in his dominion when these inveterate ene- 
mies of the Welsh entered in an hostile manner into Wales, 
and advanced as far as Crosford upon the Severn, where 
Gruffydh met them, and forced them to retire with the 
utmost speed to their own country. From thence Gruffydh 
passed to Llanbadarn Vawr, in Cardiganshire, which he laid 
in ashes, and afterwards marched through all the country of 
South Wales, receiving of the people an oath of fidelity and 
subjection to him. In the mean time, Howel ap Edwyn 
Prince of South Wales fled to Edwyn, brother to Leofric 
Earl of Chester, and prevailed upon him to come with an 
army, consisting of English and Danes, to his aid against 
Gruffydh, who, meeting his enemies in the field, easily 
overcame them, Edwyn being slain upon the spot, and 
Howel forced to 'preserve his life by flight ; after which 
victory Gruffydh, having reduced all the country of Wales 
A.D. 1039- to subjection, returned again to North Wales.f Howel, as 
soon as he could recover himself and recruit his army, 
entered again into South Wales, intending the recovery of 
that principality, which he was now so well assured of, that 
he brought his wife with him to the field, to let her see how 


* Welsh Chron. p. 89. f Welsh chron - P- 91 - 


easily he could conquer Gruffydh ;* but too great an assur- 
ance of victory seldom proves prosperous, which Howel soon 
experienced ; for Gruffydh meeting with him at Pencadair,f 
gave him so warm an entertainment that he was forced to a 
precipitate flight, which, however, could not so well secure 
him, but that he was narrowly pursued, and his wife, who 
was to have been entertained with the conquest of Gryffydh, 
saw herself, on the contrary, taken prisoner by him, and 
forced to comply so far to his humour as to be his concu- 

At this time Harold King of England died, and was 
succeeded by his brother Hardycanute, a prince very famous 
for hospitality, and a great lover of good cheer, having his 
table covered four times a day with great plenty and variety 
of dishes, and numerous superfluities for all comers; but he 
likewise dying at Lambeth, after two years reign, the 
English agreed to send for Alfred the eldest son of Edelred 
from Normandy, and to make him king. This message by 
no means pleased Earl Godwyn, a man of great sway then 
in England, who, knowing Alfred to be a person of greater 
spirit than to permit him to rule as he pleased, endeavoured 
by every means to dissuade the English from sending for 
Alfred. He told them how dangerous it was to permit a 
warlike nation to take ro'ot in their country, and how 
numerously Alfred would be attended by the Normans, to 
whom he h,ad promised the chief places and rule of the 
kingdom; ]by which and other like insinuations he so 
exasperated the English nobility against the Normans, that 
to diminish their number they put every tenth man to death. 
This, however, not being sufficient, they acted the same 
part over again, and tythed them a second time ; and being 
highly enraged against the Normans, they led Alfred, who 
had brought them over, from Gilford, where this execution 
was committed, to Gillingham, where having put -out his 
eyes, they removed him to Ely, and there at length mur- 
dered him. Then they sent for Edward out of Normandy, 
and made him king, who, according to his promise to Earl 
Godwyn, married his daughter Edith, a lady much com- 
mended not only for beauty, modesty, and other feminine 
qualifications, but also, beyond what was then considered 


* Welsh Chron. p. 91. -\- In Caermarthenshire. 

J Welsh Chron. p. 91. But it does not appear that Gruffydh lot any reputation wilh 
his subjects; the Welsh, like most other nations at that time, regarding whatever they had 
taken in war, even the wives of the vanquished, as the lawful property of the conqueror; 
so great is the force of habit upon the human mind, as to counteract the first and (he 
noblest principles of nature and religion. Lord Lyttleton's Hen. II. Warrington, vol. 1, 
p . 316. 


requisite for a woman, learning. King Edward did not 
deal so favourably with her brother Swane, son to Earl 
Godwyn, who upon some distaste was banished England, 
and thereupon forced to betake himself to Baldwyn Earl of 
Flanders, by whom he was very honourably received. 
A. D. 1041. These troubles and revolutions in England were succeeded 
by others of no less consequence in Wales. For Howel, 
chagrined at being kept so wrongfully out of his kingdom, 
returned again the third time into South Wales, where he 
had not continued long before a great number of strangers 
landed in the west of Wales, and advancing farther into the 
country, pillaged and destroyed all places they came to. 
Howel, though desirous to reserve his army to fight with 
Prince Gruffydh, yet could not behold his country so miser- 
ably wasted and over-run by strangers ; and thinking more- 
over, that by so charitable an action he should win the 
universal love of the men of South Wales, he drew up his 
forces against them, and overtaking them at Pwll Fynach, 
forced them, with much loss, to retire to their ships ; which 
action was called in Welsh Gwaith Pwll Fynach. At the 
same time Conan, the son of lago ap Edwal, who, for fear 
of Prince Gruffydh, was forced to flee to Ireland, with the 
forces of Alfred, King of Dublin, whose daughter, named 
Ranulph, he had married, landed in North Wales; and 
having, by some treacherous stratagem, taken Gruffvdh, 
triumphantly carried him prisoner towards his ships. This 
unhappy accident being discovered, and publicly known, the 
North Wales men rose on a sudden, and so unexpectedly 
overtook the Irish, that they easily recovered their Prince, 
and drove his enemies with great slaughter to their ships ; 
who, without any further consultation, were glad to sail 
with Conan for Ireland.* Wales, both North and South, 
being now free from all foreign invasion, and Howel, as yet, 
too weak to dispute his title with Gruffydh, the next year 

1042. passed without any occurrence of moment, excepting the 
death of Howel, the son of Owen, Lord of Glamorgan, a 

1043. man of great quality and esteem in Wales. Howel, the son 
of Edwyn, however, as soon as he could call in his Danes, 
to whom he added all the forces he could raise in South 
Wales, intended to march against Prince Gruffydh ; but he 
being previously aware to what end those levies w r ere de- 
signed, prepared against the approaching storm; and to 
avert the war from his own country, marched courageously 
to South Wales, not fearing to face an enemy whom he had 
completely vanquished twice already. Both armies having 


* Welsh Chron. p. 03. 


met, Gruffydh easily overcame, and pursued Howel as far 
as the spring-head of the river Towy,* where, after a long 
and a bloody fight, Howel was at last slain, and his army 
so universally routed, that few escaped with their lives.f 
Though Howel was now dead, there remained still more 
pretenders to the principality of South Wales; so that 
Gruffydh had no great prospect of enjoying the same peace- 
ably : *for as soon as it was published that HowePs army was 
defeated, and himself slain, Rytherch and Rhys, the sons of 
Rytherch ap lestyn, put in their claim to South Wales in 
right of their father, who had once enjoyed the sovereignty 
of that country; and in order to its recovery, they assembled 
together a great army, consisting partly of strangers and 
partly of such as they could raise in Gwentland and Gla- 
morgan, and marched to fight with Gruffydh. The Prince, 
according to his usual manner, delayed no time, but ani- 
mating and solacing his soldiers with the remembrance of 
their former victories and conquests, gave his enemies 
battle, which conflict proved so very bloody and protracted, 
that nothing could part them beside the darkness of the 
night. This battle so tired and exhausted both armies, 
that neither was very desirous of another engagement, and 
the one being unwilling to renew the contest with the other, 
they each agreed to return to their own habitations.^: At 
this time Joseph, Bishop of Teilo or Llandaff, died at Rome. 
The contending armies being separated, Prince Gruffydh 
enjoyed a quiet and unmolested possession of all Wales for 
about two years; after which, the gentry of Ystrad Towy 
treacherously slew 140 of his best soldiers, which made him 
so indignant, that to revenge their death, he destroyed all 
Dyfed and Ystrad Towy. 

About the same time, Lothen and Hyrling, two Danish 
pirates, with a great number of Danes, landed at Sandwich, 
and having plundered the town, returned again to their 
ships, and sailed for Holland, where they sold the booty 
they had taken, and then returned to their own country. 
Shortly aftewards Earl Swayn came out of Denmark with 
eight ships, and returned to England, and coming to his 
father's house at Pevenese, humbly requested of him, and 
his brothers Harold and Tostie, to endeavour to obtain his 
reconciliation with the King. Earl Beorned also promised 
to intercede for him, and going to Swayn's fleet to sail to 
Sandwich, where the King then lay, he was by the way most 
treacherously and ungratefully murdered, and his body cast 
upon the shore, which lay there exposed, till his friends 

* In Caerraarthenshire. f Welsh Chron. p. 92. J Ibid. 


hearing of the fact, came and carried it to Winchester, and 
buried it by the body of King Canute, Beorned's uncle. 
Swayn having committed this most detestable murder, put 
himself again under the protection of the Earl of Flanders, 
not daring to shew his face in England, till his father by 
earnest mediation made his peace with the King. 

This year Conan, the son of Tago, raised again an army 
of his friends in Ireland, and sailed towards Wales, pur- 
posing to recover his inheritance in that country ; but when 
he was come near the Welsh coast, there suddenly arose 
such a violent storm, that his fleet was immediately scattered, 
and most of his ships wrecked, which rendered this expe- 
dition ineffectual.* About the same time, Robert, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, impeached Earl Godwyn, and his 
sons Swayn and Harold, of treason, and the Queen of 
adultery, and upon the account of their non-appearance 
when cited before the Peers at Gloucester, the Queen was 
divorced, and Godwyn and his sons banished, who with his 
son Swayn fled to Flanders, and Harold to Ireland. These 
unhappy occurrences, and the many troubles that ensued 
thereupon, arose upon this occasion : Eustace, Earl of 
Bologne, being married to Goda, the King's sister, came 
over this year to England to pay King Edward a visit, and 
on his return to Canterbury, one of his retinue forcibly 
demanding a lodging, provoked the master of the house so 
far, as by chance or anger to kill him. Eustace, on this 
affront, returned to the King, and by the insinuations of the 
Archbishop, made a loud complaint against the Kentish 
men ; to repress whose insolencies, Earl Godwyn was com- 
manded to raise forces, which he refused to do, on account 
of the kindness he bore to his countrymen of Kent. The 
king summoned a parliament at Glocester, and commanded 
Godwyn to appear there; but he, mistrusting either his 
own cause, or the malice of his adversaries, gathered a 
powerful army out of his own and his son's earldoms, and 
marched towards Glocester, giving out that their forces 
were to go against the Welsh, who intended to invade the 
Marshes. King Edward being satisfied by the Welsh that 
they had no such design, commanded Godwyn to dismiss 
his army, and to appear himself to answer to the articles 
exhibited against him. Godwyn having refused to obey, 
the King, by the advice of Earl Leofrick. summoned an 
assembly at London, whither a great number of forces 
arrived from Mercia, which Godwyn perceiving, and withal 
finding himself unable to withstand the king's proceedings, 


* Welsh Chron. p. 94. 


privately retired with his sons out of the kingdom, and fled 
into Flanders : whereupon the king issued out an edict, 
proclaiming Godwyn and his sons out-laws, and then con- 
fiscating their estates, bestowed them upon others of his 
nobility. To pursue his displeasure the further, he di- 
vorced his Queen Edith, Earl Godwyn's daughter, and 
committed her to a cloister, where, in a mean condition, she 
spent some part of her life. In the distribution of the for- 
feited estates, Adonan obtained the earldoms of Devon and 
Dorset, and Algar, the son of Leofrick, that of Harold. 
Godwyn, however, could not patiently behold his estate 
bestowed upon another ; and, therefore, having hired some 
men and ships in Flanders, he sailed to the Isle of Wight, 
and having made a sufficient havock there, he landed at 
Portland, which he treated after the same manner. About 
the same time, Harold having sailed from Ireland, at length 
met with his father, and then, with their united navy, they 
burnt Preveneseny, Romney, Heath, Folkston, Dover, 
and Sandwich, and entering the Thames, they destroyed 
Cheppy, and burnt the king's house at Middletown. 
Then they sailed up the river towards London, where the 
King's army being ready to oppose them, a treaty of peace 
was, by the means of Bishop Stigand, agreed upon, which 
was so much in Godwyn's favour, that the King received 
him again to his confidence, restored him and his sons to 
all their estates, recalled the Queen, and banished the 
Archbishop, with all the Frenchmen who had been pro- 
moters of the unhappy suspicion that the king had enter- 
tained of them. 

About this time Rhys, brother to Gruffydh Prince of A. D. 1052, 
Wales, who by several irruptions upon the borders had 
considerably galled and damaged the English, was taken 
and put to death at Bulenden, whose head being cut off, 
was presented to the King, then at Gloucester.* The king A. D. 1053. 
received, however, better news some time after from the 
north, for Siward Earl of Northumberland having sent his 
son against Macbeth King of Scotland, vanquished the 
Scots, though not without the loss of his son, and many 
others, both English and Danes. Siward was not cast down 
at his son's death ; but enquiring whether he received his 
death's wound before or behind, and being assured that it 
was before, he replied, " He was very glad of it, for he 
could not wish his son to die otherwise." After this victory 
King Edward marched in person to Scotland, and having 


* His head was cut off by command of King Edward the Confessor. Simon Dunehne, 
sub. ann. 1053. Stowe's Chron. p. 97. Matth. Westm. p. 323. Hist. Angl. 


again overcome Macbeth in battle, he made the whole king- 
dom of Scotland tributary to the crown of England. The 
next year Earl Godwyn, sitting with the king at table, 
suddenly sunk down dead, being choaked, as it is thought, 
in swallowing a morsel of bread ; whose earldom the King 
bestowed upon his son Harold, and Harold's upon Algar 
Earl of Chester. 

To this time is referred the origin of the Stewards in 
Scotland, which being a remarkable passage, and in a great 
measure dependant upon the affairs of the Welsh, is there- 
fore here recorded. Macbeth King of Scotland having 
caused Bancho, a nobleman of that kingdom, to be in- 
humanly murdered, Fleance, Bancho's son, to avoid the 
like cruelty to himself, fled to Gruffydh ap Lhewelyn Prince 
of Wales, who taking a very great liking to his person, and 
commiserating his condition, shewed him all the respect 
and kindness possible. But Fleance had not continued 
long with Gruffydh when he became enamoured of the 
prince's daughter, and havinjg obtained her good-will, with- 
out any regard had to her father's kindness towards him, 
abused her so far as to get her with child. Gruffydh being 
acquainted with the fact, so resented the affront, that he 
caused Fleance to be slain, and treated his daughter most 
servilely for prostrating her chastity, especially to a stranger. 
However, she was in a short time delivered of a son, who 
was christened by the name of Walter ; a child who in his 
youth promised much, and evinced every probability of his 
making a very considerable man, which happened according 
to expectation. The first evidence of his future greatness 
happened upon a very accidental occasion : being reproached 
of bastardism by one of his companions, he took it in such 
dudgeon that nothing could satisfy his revenge but the life 
of the aggressor. Being on this mischance afraid to await 
the award of the law, he thought it expedient to fly to 
Scotland, where, falling in company with certain English- 
men who were come thither with Queen Margaret, sister to 
Edgar Edeling, he behaved himself so discreetly, that he 
won the favour and good character of all who knew him, 
and his fame daily increasing, he grew at length to that 
height of reputation as to be employed in the most urgent 
affairs of the commonwealth, and at last was made Lord 
Steward of Scotland, from which office his posterity retained 
the surname of Steward; the Kings of Scotland of that 
name, with several other families of quality in that kingdom, 
being descended from him.* 

* Subsequent researches have proved that this passage is founded in error, and that the 
Steward* lineally descend from the ancient Shropshire family of Fitr-Alan. 


But to return to England: Siward, the worthy Earl of 
Northumberland, died about this time of the bloody flux ; 
a man of a rough demeanor and a mere warlike temper, as 
he plainly manifested when at the point of death ; for, be- 
wailing as a misfortune that he, who had escaped so many 
dangerous engagements, should be laid upon a bed of 
sickness, and withal disdaining to die so effeminately, he 
caused himself to be completely armed, and, as it were, in 
defiance of death, expired in this display of martial bravery. 
His son being too young, the king bestowed his earldom 
upon Tosty, the son of Earl Godwyn. 

Wales had been now a long time quiet, and free of all A. D. 1054. 
troubles both from abroad and at home ; but it was- not to 
be expected that such a calm should prove durable, but 
rather that something or other would create new commo- 
tions and disturbances. Accordingly Gruffydh, son to 
Rytherch ap lestyn, having recruited and recovered himself 
after the last defeat he received from Prince Gruffydh, ven- 
tured another trial for the principality of South Wales.* 
The Prince, losing no time, speedily marched against him, 
and both armies having met, Gruffydh ap Rytherch was 
easily vanquished, and finally was slain. But the troubles 
of the Welsh did not end with him; for Algar Earl of 
Chester being convicted of treason, and thereupon banished 
the kingdom, fled to Gruffydh Prince of Wales, requesting 
his aid against King Edward ; and Gruffydh reciting the 
frequent wrongs he had received at the hands of the Eng- 
lish, by their upholding his enemies against him, gladly 
embraced the opportunity, and promised him all imaginable 
support : and thereupon assembling his forces, he entered 
with him into Herefordshire, and advancing into the country 1055. 
within two miles of the city of Hereford, they were opposed 
by Randulph, Earl of that country, who boldly gave them 
battle. The fight continued very dreadful and dubious for 
some hours, till at last Gruffydh so encouraged his soldiers 
with the remembrance of their former victories over the 
English, that they attacked the English with renewed 
energy, and easily, discomfited Randulph, and slew the best 
part of his army. Afterwards they pursued their chase to 
the town, and having made all the waste and havoc they 
were able, they laid the town itself in ashes, and so returned 
home triumphantly, laden with rich booty and plunder.f 


* Welsh Chron, p. 98. 

f The Welsh in this en^a^ement cut in pieces four or five hundred of the fugitives, 
and having entered into Hereford they burnt the Minster, and slew seven of the canons 
who rashly attempted to defend it. Saxon Chron. p. 169. Roger Hovedon, p. 443, 444. 
Simon Tuaelme, p. 188. Matth. Westm.p. 324- 


King Edward receiving notice of this invasion, presently 
gathered a great army at Gloucester under the conduct of 
Harold, Earl Godwyn's son, who courageously pursuing the 
enemy, entered into Wales, and encamped beyond Strad- 
clwyd; but Gruflfydh and Algar dreading to oppose him, 
retired further into South Wales, of which Harold being 
certified, left one part of his army behind (with orders to 
fight, if occasion required), and with the other passed to 
Hereford, which he fortified with a strong wall round the 
town. Gruffydh, perceiving his undaunted industry, after 
many messages, concluded a peace with Harold at a place 
called Biligelhag, by which articles Algar was pardoned by 
the king, and restored to his earldom of Chester.* He did 
not, however, continue long in the king's favour ; for about 
two years after, upon conviction of treason, he was again 
banished the land, so that he was forced to betake himself 
to his old friend, Gruffydh Prince of Wales, by whose aid, 
and that of a fleet from Norway, in defiance of the king he 
was restored to his earldom. King Edward was much 
offended with the Prince of Wales for thus harbouring 
traitors, and therefore, to be revenged upon him, he dis- 
patched Harold again with an army to North Wales, who, 
coming to Ruthlan, burnt the Prince's palace there, and his 
fleet that lay in the harbour, and then returned to the king 
at Gloucester. 

This year Edward, the son of Edmund Ironsides, who 

was sent for out of Hungary, being designed successor to 

the crown, came to England, but in a short time after his 

coming died at London, leaving a son named Edgar Edeling, 

and a daughter named Margaret, who was afterwards Queen 

of the Scots, and mother to Maud, the wife of Henry the 

A.D. 1056. First. About two years after, Roderic, son to Harold King 

of Denmark, came with a considerable army into Wales, 

and being kindly received by Prince GruflTydh, united his 

force with the Welsh, and so entered into England, which 

they cruelly harassed and laid waste ; but before they could 

advance any considerable distance, Roderic was compelled 

to sail for Denmark, and Gruffydh returned laden with 

spoils into Wales. At this time also Harold, Earl Godwyn's 

son, sailing to Flanders, was driven by force of weather to 

land at Poytiers, where being taken prisoner, he was brought 

before William, the bastard Duke of Normandy, to whom 

he declared the reason of his voyage, that it was purposely 

to tender him his service in the affairs of England ; and so 

taking an oath, first to marry the Duke's daughter, and 


* Roger Hovedon, pp. 443, 444. Simon Bur.elmfj'p. 188. Matth. Wcstm. p. 324. 


after the death of Edward to secure the kingdom of Eng- 
land for him, he was honourably dismissed. Upon his 
return to England, by the persuasions of Caradoc the son 
of Gruffydh ap Rytherch, he, with his brother Tosty, raised 
a great army and entered into South Wales,* which they A. D. 1064. 
ravaged to such a degree that the Welsh were glad to 
deliver up hostages for the payment of that tribute which 
aforetime they used to pay. Gruffydh hearing of the inso- 
lencies of the English in South Wales, made every possible 
haste and preparation to oppose them, but to no purpose ;f 
Harold having already treacherously hired some of Gruf- 
fydh's nearest friends to murder him, who watching their 
opportunity, executed their wicked design and brought his 
head to Harold. Gruffydh being dead, Harold (by King 
Edward's orders) appointed Meredith, son of Owen ap 
Edwyn, Prince of South Wales, and gave the government of 
North Wales to Blethyn and Rywalhon, the sons of 
Confyn, brothers by the mother's side to Prince Gruffydh, 
and who probably, for the desire of rule, were accessary to 
the murder of that noble prince. Thus Gruffydh ap Lhew- 
elyn enjoyed the principality of Wales for the space of 
thirty-four years. He was a prince of incomparable virtues, 
both wise and valiant, beloved of his subjects and formidable 
to his enemies, in all his actions behaving himself great and 
princely ; and having valiantly defended his country against 
all foreign opposition, he was far unworthy of that treacherous 
and cruel death which his unkind subjects and unnatural 
friends inflicted upon him. He left issue but one daughter, 
named Nest, abused first by Fleance son of Bancho, and 
afterwards married to Trahaern ap Caradoc Prince of North 


A FTER the deplorable mnrder of Prince Gruffydh, 
Meredith, the son of Owen ap Edwyn, who, according to 
some, was son to Howel Dha, took upon him, as it is said, 
the government of South Wales, and Blethyn and Rywalhon 
the sons of Confyn, half-brothers to Gruffydh, as descended 
from Angharad daughter to Meredith, sometime Prince of 


* Welsh Chron. p. 101. f * 1)id - 

J Together with the prow of the ship in which he returned. Simon Dunelme, p. 191. 

And Powys. Welsh Chron. p. 102. Simon Dunrlme, p. 1P2. Willtam 

Mnlmsbury, p. 94. 


Wales,* entered upon the principality of North Wales; 
Conan, the son of lago ap Edwal, the right heir to that 
crown, being then with his father-in-law in Ireland. This 
partition of Wales fell much short of the expectation of 
Caradoc ap Gruffydh ap Rytherch, who being the chief 
promoter of Harold's making an expedition against Gruf- 
fydh ap Lhewelyn, had expected to obtain the government 
of South Wales, in case of Gruffydh being defeated : but it 
happened otherwise ; for Harold being sensible of Caradoc's 
subtilty and knavery, and doubting whether (if he was made 
Prince of South Wales) he could obtain a certain lordship 
nigh Hereford, for which he had a great desire, he made a 
composition with Meredith ap Owen for the said lordship, 
and created him Prince of South Wales, f and banished 
Caradoc out of the country. Harold having obtained the 
consent of Meredith ap Owen, built a very magnificent 
house at a place called Portascyth, in Monmouthshire,^ and 
storing it with a great quantity of provision, splendidly 
entertained the King, who honoured him with a visit. It 
was by no means pleasing to Tosty to see his younger 
brother in greater esteem and favour with the king than 
himself; and having concealed his displeasure for a time, 
he could not forbear at length from evincing his dissatis- 
faction : accordingly, one day at Windsor, while Harold 
reached the cup to King Edward, Tosty, ready to burst for 
envy that his brother was so much respected beyond himself, 
could not refrain from running furiously upon him, and 
pulling him by the hair, dragged him to the ground, for 
which unmannerly action the king forbade him the court : 
but he with continued rancour and malice rode to Hereford, 
where Harold had many servants preparing an entertainment 
for the king, and setting upon them with his followers, 
lopped off the hands and legs of some, the arms and heads 
of others, and threw them into the butts of wine and other 
liquors which were put in for the king's drinking, and at his 
departure charged the servants to acquaint Harold, " That 
" of other fresh meats he might carry with him what he 
" pleased, but for sauce he should find plenty provided 
" ready for him." || For this barbarous offence the king 
pronounced a sentence of perpetual banishment upon Tosty.^I 
But Caradoc ap Gruffydh gave a finishing stroke to Harold's 
house, and to the king's entertainment at Portascyth ; for 
coming thither shortly after Tosty's departure, to be re- 

* William Malmsbury, p. 94. f Welsh Chron. p. 102. 

t Portaskewith, in Monmouthshire. Simon Dunelmt-, p. 192. 

Simon Dunelme, p. 192. || Matth. Westm p. 331. 
f Welsh Chron. pp. 104, 105. Simon Dunelme, p. 192. Camden's Brit. p. 597. 


venged upon Harold, he killed all the workmen and labour- 
ers, with all the servants he could find, and utterly defacing 
the building, carried away all the costly materials which, 
at a great expense, had been brought thither to beautify and 
adorn the structure.* Soon after this, the Northumbrians 
(who could not endure the insolencies of the two brothers 
Harold and Tosty, who, bearing an uncontroulable sway in 
the kingdom, were accustomed to practise the most hellish 
villainies to obtain any man's estate that displeased them,) 
in a tumult at York beset the palace of Tosty, and having 
pillaged his treasure, slew all his family, as well Englishmen 
as Danes. Then joining to themselves the people of Lincoln, 
Nottingham, and Derbyshire, they elected Marcher the son 
of Earl Algar their general, to whom came his brother 
Edwyn with a considerable number of troops, and a great 
party of Welshmen. Then they marched in a hostile manner 
to Northampton, where Harold met them, being sent by the 
king to know their demands ; to whom they laid open their 
grievances, and the cruelty of Tosty's government, and, at 
last, with an absolute refusal of admitting him again, desired 
that Marcher should be appointed Earl over them, which 
the King, upon the reasonable complaints of injuries done 
by Tosty, easily granted, and willingly confirmed Marcher's 
title : whereupon they peaceably returned back to the north, 
and the Welsh, with several prisoners and other booties got 
in this expedition, returned to Wales. 

The year following, King Edward died, and was buried A. D. 1066. 
at Westminster, being the last king of the Saxon blood be- lst O f 
fore the conquest that governed the kingdom of England, William the 
which from Cerdic King of the West Saxons had continued 
544, and from Egbert the first monarch, 171 years. Edward 
being dead; the next difference was about the election of a 
successor, Edgar Edeling being set up by some as lawful 
heir to the crown, which Harold, as being a person of 
greater power and authority in the kingdom, much wealthier 
and more befriended, presently thwarted, and brought mat- 
ters so cunningly about, that himself was chosen king, with- 
out any regard observed to the oath and promise he had 
formerly made to William Duke of Normandy. Duke 
William upon notice of Harold's advancement, and that he 
had accepted of the crown of England contrary to the articles 
between them, convened together his nobles, and laid before 
them the several wrongs and affronts he had received at the 
han< 7 s of Harold, as the death of his cousin Alfred, the 

* Matthew Westm. Welsh Chron. &c. 


banishment of Archbishop Robert, Earl Odan, and all the 
Normans, and, lastly, the breach of his oath and promise. 
Then he declared to them the pretence he had to claim the 
crown of England, that Edward had given him formerly an 
absolute promise in Normandy, that if ever he enjoyed the 
English crown, William should be his heir; which title, 
though in itself weak and insignificant, served William's 
purpose well enough to make an expedition against an in- 
truder. Duke William's pretence seemed plausible enough 
to the Norman nobility, but the difficulty of the undertaking 
and the danger of this expedition was somewhat perplexing, 
and made them less inclinable to encourage so precipitous 
an undertaking; which they the more disliked upon the 
persuasion of William Fitzosbert the Duke's sewer, whom 
they pitched upon to deliver their thoughts as to the expedi- 
tion unto the duke ; but he, instead of dissuading him from 
this voyage, politicly declared that himself with all his 
pow r er were ready to live and die with him in this expedition, 
which the rest hearing could not but offer the duke their 
service in the same manner ; and so all things were prepared 
for an invasion of England. In the mean while Tosty, full 
of indignation at his brother's advancement to the crown, 
entered the river H umber with forty sail, but meeting with 
Earl Edwyn, who came to oppose him, he was forced after 
a considerable encounter to bear off, and secure himself by 
flight ; but meeting with Harold King of Norway upon the 
coast of Scotland, coming for England with three hundred 
sail, he joined his forces with Harold, and so both together 
entering the Humber, they landed their army and marched 
to York, where the Earls Edwyn and Marcher unsuccess- 
fully gave them battle. Having pillaged and destroyed that 
city, they passed on to Stamford-bridge, and there met with 
King Harold, who with a well disciplined army was come 
to stop their farther career. After a long and terrible 
fight, and much bloodshed on both sides, the Norwegians 
began at last to give way, which the English perceiving, 
fell on so manfully that few or none escaped with their lives, 
Harold and Tosty being also slain upon the spot. One of 
the Norwegians is deservedly recorded for his incomparable 
exploits performed in this battle, who with incredible 
valour, maintaining the bridge against the whole strength 
of the English army for above an hour, by his single resist- 
ance delayed their victory, and having slain a great number 
of his enemies, he seemed invincible, till in the end, no one 
daring to grapple with him fairly, he was run through with 
a spear from under the bridge, and so by his fall a passage 



was opened for pursuit to complete the victory. King 
Harold overjoyed with this success, triumphantly entered 
into York, and whilst he was making merry with his nobles 
at a sumptuous feast, news came that Duke William of 
Normandy was safely landed at, and began to fortify himself 
in, Hastings, with which tidings being no way dashed, as 
fearing nothing after his late victory, he forthwith marched 
towards him, and as soon as he was arrived in Sussex, with- 
out any consideration of the fatigue his army had undergone 
in their march, gave William battle. The Duke, dividing 
his army into five battalions, made a long harangue to his 
soldiers, wherein he repeated and commended the noble acts 
of their ancestors the Danes and Norwegians, who had per- 
petually vanquished the English and French, and other 
nations, as many as they had to do with , and that them- 
selves, being well horsed and armed, were now to engage 
with a people void of both, who had no other defence to 
trust to, than the nimbleness and swiftness of their heels. 
Both armies being joined upon the 14th day of October, 
Duke William, after some hours engaging, ordered his army 
so to retire, as if they seemed to fly, which the English 
perceiving, broke their ranks in haste of pursuing the sup- 
posed fugitive, which falling out according to the Duke's 
expectation, he sent in a fresh supply of Normans, who, 
falling upon the confused battalions of the English, easily 
overcame them, and Harold receiving first a wound by an 
arrow was at length slain, and then both the field and the 
victory were left to the Normans. The day being thus won, 
William, from this time called the Conqueror, went straight 
to London, where he was received with all possible formality, 
and upon Christmas-day solemnly crowned King of England. 
This change and alteration in England was previously prog- 
nosticated by a comet which appeared in the spring of this 
year, upon which a certain poet made the following verses : 

Anno milleno sexageno quoque seno, 
Anglorum metce flammas censer e cometce. 

King William having established himself on the throne A. D. 1066. 
of England, passed over the next year to Normandy, so to 
settle affairs there, as afterwards they might have no need 
of his presence. In the mean while Edgar Edeling, taking 
advantage of his absence, returned from Scotland to York, 
being declared king by the inhabitants of the country, who 
had already slain Robert, upon whom William had bestowed 
that earldom, with nine hundred of his men. But the king 
upon his return to Normandy presently marched to the 

G 2 


north, and having sufficiently revenged himself upon the 
inhabitants, by wasting and destroying their country, chased 
Edgar to Scotland again. The like advantage Edric Syl- 
vaticus, the son of Alfric Earl of Mercia, embraced, who 
refusing to hold any submission to the conqueror, took the 
opportunity of his departure to Normandy to fall foul upon 
such as were appointed vicegerents and governors of the 
kingdom in his absence: whereupon Richard Fitzserope, 
governor of the castle of Hereford, with the forces under 
his command, so much harassed him, by wasting and con- 
suming his lands and carrying off the goods of his tenants, 
that he was compelled to desire aid of Blethyn and Ry walhon 
Princes of Wales, by whose help, to recompense the loss he 
had received, he passed into Hereford, and after that he 
had over-run and pillaged the country to Wyebridge,* re- 
turned back with exceeding great booty. But no sooner 
were Blethyn arid Ry walhon arrived in North Wales, but 
they received news of a rebellion raised against them by 
Meredith and Ithel, the sons of GrufFydh ap Lhewelyn, 
who had drawn together a considerable number of men,, 
upon pretence of recovering the principality of North 
Wales, which they said was fraudulently detained from 
them. Blethyn and Rywalhon did not delay going in quest 
of their enemies, and meeting with them at a place called 
Mechain,f without any farther ceremony, set upon the 
rebels, who behaved themselves so gallantly, that after a 
fight of several hours they wanted nothing but numbers to 
complete the victory. There fell in this, battle on the one 
side Prince Rywalhon, and on the other Ithel, who being 
A. D. 1068. slain, Meredith was forced to give way and endeavour to 
save himself by flight, which could not secure him, he being 
so narrowly pursued by Blethyn, that, in fine, he was glad 
to escape to the mountains, where, for want of victuals and 
other necessaries, he soon perished, leaving Blethyn ap 
Confyn sole Prince of North W r ales and Powis.J During 
these Welsh disturbances, Swane King of Denmark, and 
Osburn his brother, with three hundred sail, came up the 
Humber, and being joined by Edgar Edeling and Earl 
Waltelfe marched to York, and taking the castle disposed 
of their forces to winter quarters, betwixt the rivers Ouse 
and Trent. The king understanding the matter, posted to 
the north ; whose coming so dashed the confederates, that 
they quickly dispersed their power, and the Danes escaped 
to their ships, and the king having taken vengeance upon 


* Simon Dunelme, p. 197. Welsh Chron. p. 109. 
f In the present County of Montgomery. J Welsh Chron. p. 109. 


the rebellious inhabitants of the country, and, upon his 
submission, having pardoned Earl Waltelfe, returned back 
to London. 


ABOUT the same time Caradoc, son to Gruffydh ap 
Rhytherch ap lestyn, all this while being much dissatis- 
fied that he could not attain to the principality of South 
Wales, invited over a great number of Normans, to whom 
he joined all the forces he could raise out of Gwentland, 
and other parts of Wales. Then attacking Prince Meredith, A. D. 1070. 
who was far too weak to encounter so considerable an army, 
gave him an easy overthrow near the river Rymhy,* where 
Meredith was slain, and so Caradoc obtained the govern- 
ment of South Wales, which for a long time he had en- 
deavoured sinistrously to encompass. He had sometime 
before procured Harold to make an invasion upon Gruffydh 
ap Lhewelyn, purposely that himself might arrive at the 
principality of South Wales ; and failing then of his expecta- 
tion, he now invited over the Normans, not being willing to 
trust the English any more, by reason that he had so un- 
gratefully been prevented by Harold ; so that it seems he 
cared not by what course, or by whose means he should 
gain his point ; though it were by the ruin and destruction 
of his country, which hitherto he had earnestly promoted. 
Being at length advanced to his long expected government 
of South Wales (which, though not recorded, seems yet 
very probable, by reason that his son Rhytherch ap Caradoc 
enjoyed the same very soon after), he did not enjoy this 
honour long, but dying in a short time after his advance- 
ment, left to succeed him his son Rytherch ap Caradoc. 
At the same time that Caradoc carried on this rebellion in 
Wales, the Earls Edwyn, Marcher, and Hereward revolted 
from the King of England; but Edwyn suspecting the 
success of their affairs, and determining to retire to Malcolm 
King of Scotland, in his journey thither was betrayed, and 
slain by his own followers. Then Marcher and Hereward 
betook themselves to the Isle of Ely, which, though suffi- 
ciently fortified, was so warmly besieged by the King, that 
Marcher and his accomplices were in a short time forced to 
surrender themselves up prisoners ; only Hereward made 
his escape to Scotland : but the king followed him closely ; 

* Prympyn, a river in that country. 


and after he had received homage of Malcolm King of 
Scotland, returned hack to Kngland ; tuul after a short stax 
here, passed over to Normandy, \\IUMV he rcceixed Kdii;ar 
Kdehnij, a^am lo mercy. 

A.D. 1071. The next sear the Normans, having already tasted of the 
sweetness of \xasting and plundering a country, came oxer 
again to \N 'ales ; and basing spoiled and destroyed Dxfed 
and the country of Cardigan, returned honuMvith xerx great 
spoil ; and the following year sailed over again for more 
booty. About the same time, Neythyd, Bishop of St. 
I )a\ id's, died, and was sneeeeded hx one Snlien. This \\as 
not all the misfortune that hefel the Welsh ; for Kadnlph 
Marl of the Kast Angles, together with l\oger Karl of Here- 
lord and lOarl \\'altelpe, entered into a eonspiraex against 
King \\illiam, appointing the da\ of marriage between 
Kadnlph and Roger's sister, \\hieh \\as to he solemni/ed in 
KSM>\, to tn'at of ami conclude their design.* Radulph's 
mother was come out of Wales, and, upon that account, he 
"united oxer sexeral of her friends and relations to the red- 
ding ; meaning chietlN , under the colour of seeming alleetion, 
by their help and procurement to bring over the princes and 
people of Wales, to favour anil assist his undertaking ;f 
but King William heim; acquainted with the whole plot, 
quickly ruined all their intrigues; and unexpectedly coming 
from Normandy, surprised the conspirators ; excepting 
Radulph, \\ho either doubted of the success of their affairs, 
or else had intimation gi\ en him of the king's landing, and 
prexiousK took shipping at Norwich, and fled to Denmark. 
\\altelpeand Roi^er \\ere exei'uteil. and all the other ad- 
herents punished ;J more particnlarl) the Welsh, some of 
whom were hanged, others hail their ex. es put out, and the 
A.D. 107:1. rest \xere l>anislu*d. Soon aHer, Blethxn ap ('onlxn Prince 
7th of of \\ ales \\as basely and treacherously murdered bx Rhxs 
AVilliaiiitlir ;ip ()\xen ap Kd\\\n and the gentlemen of N strail TXNXX,^ 
Conqueror. n fi or j u . | i;u i n .Jo, u d thirteen years: a prince of singular 
qualifications and virtues, and a mvat observer of justice 
and eijuitx towards his .subjects; he xxas xery liberal and 
munificent, being indeed xerx able, haxing a prodigious and 
almost incredible estate, as appears by these verses made 
upon it; 

Blethyn ap Confyn 
]Si fum bioedh fien 

bob Ctrys 



Malth. P*ri, p. 7 j Wttt* 1 edition. f Wchh Chron. p. 111. J Ib 

^ Welsh Annals, lll,-~0wca up Edwyn was the youngest son of Howel Dh&. 


lie had tour wive*. In whom he li;ul issue as follows, vr/. : 
Meredith In liner daughter of (Minn, his first wile; 
1. In \vnrch ami ( 1 ndos*an by the second ; Madoc atul Kir\d 
by the third ; and lorwerth b\ his last.* 


Jt>LETHYN being, as is said, traitorously murdered, A. D. 1073. 
i here was no regard had to his issue, ns to their right of 

.succession; but Trahacrn ap (\iradoc his cousin ^orman, 
biMiii; a person of mval pov>cr and swny iu the country, \vas 
unnnimousK elected IViiuv of North NYalcs, and Rhys ap 
O\\en \vitli Rythereh ap Caradoc jointlx p>vemeil J^outu 
NN 'aK's. Trahaorn, indeed, had sonu* predMire to that 
principality, as having married Nest, the only surviving 
issue of that i^ivat priuco (initlxdli ap Lhewelyu: \\hosi* 
two si>us MiMvdith and itlu'l were lalelx slain in their 
attempt against Hleth\n and Ixywalhon ; but his title did 
not secure him in Ins n;o\ eminent so nnieh as Ins possession, 
siiu'e there was one still living, though not much regarded, 
who, \\ithout am dispute, uas true heir and proprietor of 
the prineipalit\ ol' North ^'alcs. This was (iruflydh son 
ti> (\Mian. son to laj^o ap I'Mwal, who being informed ol'lhe 
death of Hlethyn aj> Contyn, and the advancement of Tra- 
haeru, though! this a proper time to endeavour the IVCOMM-N 
of what was (ml) his right, and out of which he had been all 
this time most wrongfully excluded. ^ hcrclore, having 
obtained help in Ireland, where he privately sojourned 
during the reign of Blethyn ap Confyn, from Encumolhon 


* Hw first wife, Hacr, wa* a widow, very beautiful : she was the daughter nud heiress 
o!"i;ill>M, tlu-sonof Klaiilii Uhudd, ortho bloody wolf of (u^st, in Klionydtl. Hy t'ynfyn 

llinlrct', licr l\\^\ Inisb.unl, .lic ;s m.\\uliuoll)cr to Uiriil, lot>olv tlic Appellation of 
Illaidd, or tho \\o\\\ as dcsivudrd fn'n Ulaidd Ithudd Jihovi- incntioiifd. The famous 
llowrl > ptMlol.ut was tb- sou ol' (;rnllian. d.ui^litiM- to Uin.l 1'l.ii.UI. 'I'lu-ri- is a \Vrlsli 
poem t-\(.int of I'uiddrUv IM \.l\ihl m. r, thr i;u\U b.inl, lo tlonrishcil aboul the > ear 
11(50, on ivturnin-;- thanUs to Kiml lor a Tun- sword with whieh lie had presented him. 
> orke's lio\ al Tubi-.s p. 1'28. The following is a translation of ft portion of this poem: 

" 1 luv<< ,i (ViiMiilly wH'. si.\iuls ly inc. to rinvh 
'l'h<- ui.Millini; (.',." It iMiot tlu- Ion-si U. si-.UIorinjr 
Tlu- l)ii-ml<-vx il>.,k. luil tin- \volT of tlu> li.-ltl of buttle i 
Though at otln-r times he is uulil .uul liberal." 

Mr. Vaughan, of Hcngwrt, informs us " Hint CriilTtuKl ab Cynan, Rhys ah Tewdwr, and 

l'vleildyn\\b (\tnfyn, nude diligent seareb after the arms, ensigns, and pedigrees of their 
aneestors, (he noi.ility, nud kings of (he Prit-Mis. \M>at the> diseov.-red by their psiins 
in any pap-r-. an<l reeoriU, was aflerw ;mi?. l'\ tlie l>.u Is digested, and put into books, and 
they ordained five royal tribes, there being only three before, from whom their posterity 
to this day can derive themselves; ami aUo fifteen special tribes, of whom the gentry of 

North Wales are for the most part descended." 


King of Ultonia, and from Ranalht and Mathawn, two other 
kings of that country, he sailed for Wales, and landed in 
the Isle of Anglesey, which he easily reduced and brought 
to subjection.* At the same time Cynwric ap Rywalhon, a 
nobleman of Maelor or Bromfield, was slain in North Wales, 
but how, or upon what account, is not known. Whilst 
Gruflfydh ap Conan endeavoured to dispossess Trahaern of 
North Wales, Gronow and Lhewelyn, the sons of Cadwgan 
ap Blethyn, having united their forces with Caradoc ap 
Gruffydh ap Rytherch, intended to revenge the murder of 
their grandfather Blethyn ap Confyn, upon Rhys ap Owenf 
and Rytherch ap Caradoc, the joint rulers of South Wales ; 
and marching confidently to find them, both armies met 
together and fought at a place called Camdhwr;+ where 
after a severe engagement the sons of Cadwgan at length 
obtained a complete victory. In North Wales, at the same 
time, Gruffydh ap Conan having established his possession 
of the Isle of Anglesey, intended to proceed farther in the 
main land of Wales ; to which end, having transported his 
forces over the strait, lie encamped in the neighbouring 
country of Carnarvonshire, purposing tq reduce North 
Wales by degrees. Trahaern ap Caradoc being informed 
of this descent of Gruffydh's, made all possible speed to 
prevent his farther progress ; and having made all necessary 
preparations that the shortness of the opportunity would per- 
mit, he drew up his forces to Bron yr Erw, where he gave 
Gruffydh battle, and in fine forced him to a shameful flight; 
so that he was glad to retire back safely to Anglesey. || 
A. D. 1074. The next year Rytherch ap Caradoc Prince of South 
Wales died, being murdered through the unnatural villainy 
of his cousin-german Meyrchaon ap Rhys ap Rytherch ; 
after whom Rhys*ap Owen obtained the sole government of 
South Wales : but his enjoyment of the whole of that 
principality was not very lasting, and scarcely at all void of 
1075. the trouble and vexation of war. For shortly after the death 
of Caradoc, the sons of Cadwgan, thinking they might now 
easily foil and vanquish one, seeing they had some time ago 
victoriously overcome both princes together, with all the 
forces they could raise, set upon Rhys at a place called 
Gwanyffyd, who not being able to combat their numbers, 
was routed and forced to flee ; however the blow was not so 
mortal but that Rhys gathered together new levies, by the 


* Welsh Chron. p. 112. It may be proper here to remark, that though the lineal 
succession was frequently interrupted, yet the Welsh always paid a regard to the same 
royal blood, except in the instance of ^Edan ap Blegored. 

f Of the Royal House of South Wales. J Camddwr, in Cardiganshire. 

Near to the Castle of Harlech, in Merionydh. || Welsh Chron. p. 11 , 


help of which he was emboldened still to maintain himself 
in his principality.* Fortune, however, which had ad- 
vanced him to the crown, seemed now to frown at and cross 
all his endeavours and undertakings, and being reduced to 
a very weak condition in the last battle, he was attacked by 
a fresh enemy before he could have sufficient time to recover 
and recruit himself. For Trahaern ap Caradoc, Prince of 
North Wales, perceiving the weakness and inability of Rhys 
to make opposition against any foreign enemy that invaded 
his territories, thought it now very feasible to obtain the 
conquest of South Wales, and then to annex it to his own 
principality of North Wales ; and, being induced by these 
imaginations, he dispatched his army to South Wales to 
fight with Rhys, who, with all the forces he could possibly 
levy, as laying his whole fortune upon the event of this 
battle, boldly met him at Pwlhgwttic, where, after a tedious 
fight on both sides, Rhys having lost the best part of his 
army, was put to flight, and so warmly pursued, that after 
long shifting from place to place, himself with his brother 
Howel fell at length into the hands of Caradoc ap Gruffydh, 
who put them both to death, in revenge of the base murder 
of Blethyn ap Confyn, by them previously committed.! 
The principality of South Wales being thus vacant by the 
death of Rhys ap Owen ; Rhys son to Theodore ap Eirieon 
ap Owen ap Howel Dha4 as lawful heir to that government, 
put in his claim, which being very plain and evident, so pre- 
vailed with the people of that country, that they unanimously 
elected him for their prince,^ much against the expectation 
of Trahaern ap Caradoc, Prince of North Wales. The 
next year St. David's suffered greatly by strangers, who 
landing there in a considerable number, spoiled and A. D. 1077. 
destroyed the whole town, shortly after which barbarous 
action Abraham, bishop of that see, died ; and then Sulien, 
who the year before had relinquished and resigned that 
bishoprick, was compelled to resume it. 

The government of all Wales, both North and South, had 1079. 
been now for a long time supplied by usurpers, and forcibly 
detained from the right and legal inheritors ; but Provi- 
dence would not suffer injustice to reign any longer, and 


* Welsh Chron. p. 113. Vita Griff. Conani : a Manuscript Life of that Prince, written 
in the Welsh language, as is supposed, near the time in which he lived. 

f Welsh Chron. p. 113. Bleddyn Strength of the army. 

J Ab Cadel ab Rhodri Mawr ab Mervyn Vrych ab Gwriad ab Elidyr ab Sandde ab 
Alser ab Tegid ab Gwyar ab Dwywg ab Llywarch Hen ab Elidyr Llydanwyn ab 
Meirchion Gul ab Grwst Ledlwm ab Coneu ab Coel Godebog. Rhys ab Tcwdwr was 
Jhe founder of our second Royal Tribe. 

Welsh Chron. p, 114. 


therefore restored the rightful heirs to the principalities. 
Rhys ap Theodore had actual possession of South Wales,* 
and there wanted no more at this time but to bring in 
Gruffydh ap Conan to the principality of North Wales ; 
both these princes being indisputably right and lawful heirs 
to their respective governments, as lineally descended from 
Roderic the Great, who was legal proprietor of all Wales. 
Gruffydh ap Conan had already reduced the isle of 
Anglesey, but not being able to levy a sufficient army from 
thence to oppose Trahaern, he invited over a great party of 
Irish and Scots, and then with his whole army joined with 
Rhys ap Theodore, Prince of South Wales. Trahaern in 
like manner associating to himself Caradoc ap Gruffydh and 
Mailyr the son of Rywalhon ap Gwyn his cousins-german, 
the greatest and most powerful men then in Wales, drew up 
his forces together with resolution to fight them. Both 
armies meeting upon the mountains of Carno,f which 
proved the more fierce and bloody, by reason that both 
parties resolutely referred their whole fortune to the success 
of their arms, and life would prove vain if the day was lost. 
But after a bloody fight on both sides, the victory fell at last 
to Gruffydh and Rhys, Trahaern with his cousins being all 
slain in the field,:}: after whose death Gruffydh took posses- 
sion of North Wales ; and so the rule of all Wales, after a 
tedious interval, was again restored to the right line. 
About the same time Urgency ap Sitsylht, a person of noble 
quality in Wales, was treacherously murdered by the sons of 
Rhys Sais, or the Englishman ; by which name the Welsh 
were accustomed to denominate all persons who either had 
lived any considerable time in England, or could fluently 
and handsomely speak the English tongue. 


* According to Mr. Vaughan, of Hengwrt, the immediate territories of this prince were 
the counties of Cardigan and Caermarthen ; as Pembroke, Brecknock, Gwent or Mon- 
mouthshire, and Glewising or Herefordshire, were governed by their several reguli : 
though there is no doubt but all these acknowledged the sovereign authority of South 
Wales. British Ant. Revived, pp. 7, 8. Welsh Chron. p. 114. 

f In South Wales, called Mynydd Cam, on account of a large Carnedd upon it, 
covering the remains of a great warrior, who had, in ancient times, been slain and buried 

I Vita fil Griff. Conani. Welsh Chron. p. 114. 



(jrRUFFYDH ap Conan being established in the princi- 
pality of North Wales, and Rhys ap Theodore in that of 
South Wales ; there was no one that could create them 
any molestation or disturbance upon the account of their 
right, which was unquestionably just ; so that they quietly 
enjoyed for some time their respective dominions, without 
apprehension of any pretender : indeed, it had seldom been 
known before, but that one of the princes was an usurper ; 
and particularly in North Wales, where, from the time of 
Edwal Foel, none had legally ascended to the crown, ex- 
cepting Edwal the son of Meyric, eldest son to Edwal Foel, 
in whose line the undoubted title of North Wales lawfully 
descended: and the right line being now restored in 
Gruffydh ap Conan, the same legally continued to Lhewelyn 
ap Gruffydh, the last prince of the British blood. During 
these revolutions in Wales, some things memorable were 
transacted in England; Malcolm King of the Scots de- 
scending into Northumberland, ravaged and destroyed the 
country without mercy, carrying away a great number of 
prisoners ; after which the Northumbrians fell upon Walter 
Bishop of Durham, whom they slew, together with a 
hundred men, whilst he sate keeping his court, not anti- 
cipating any such treacherous villainy. At the same time 
Robert Curthoys, the Bastard's eldest son, being for some 
reason disgusted against his father, and instigated by the 
King of France, entered Normandy with an army and 
claimed it as his right, which King William being ac- 
quainted with, passed over to Normandy, and meeting with 
his son hand to hand in battle, was by him overthrown. 
Returning from Normandy he entered with a great army 
into Wales, and marching after the manner of a pilgrimage 
as far as St. David's, he offered and paid his devotion to A. D. 1079. 
that saint,* and afterwards received homage of the kings and 13th of 
princes of the country. About the same time the tomb of William the 
Walwey, King Arthur's sister's son, a most valiant person Con< l uerort 
in his time, and governor of that country, from him called 
Walwethey, was discovered in the country of Rhos, nigh 
the sea-shore, whose skeleton proved monstrously pro- 
digious, being in length about fourteen feet. 

This year Madawc, Cadwgan, and Riryd, the sons of ^ D. i 86. 
Plethyn ap Confyn some time Prince of Wales, raised a 


* Welsh Chron. p. 115. 


rebellion against Rhys ap Tewdwr,* and having drawn 
together a great number of licentious and discontented 
people, thought to eject him out of the principality of South 
Wales. Rhys had not power and forces enough to oppose 
them, while the rebel army increased daily by the addition 
of the discontented multitude, wlio always rejoice at any 
new commotion or disturbance, and therefore he was com- 
pelled to retire to Ireland, where he obtained a very con- 
siderable party of Irish and Scots upon promise of a 
sufficient reward in the event of his being restored to his 
principality. Having by this measure obtained a large 
increase to his former strength, he landed in South Wales, 
the news of whose arrival being spread abroad, his friends 
from all quarters presently assembled about him, so that in 
a short time his army became numerous, and able to confront 
the enemy. The rebels were aware how the Prince's forces 
daily multiplied, arid therefore to prevent any farther addi- 
tion, they made all possible haste to force him to a battle, 
which in a short time after happened at Lhech y Creu,f 
where the rebels were vanquished; Madawc and Riryd 
being slain, and Cadwgan glad to save his life by flight. 
Rhys having won so signal a victory, and fearing no farther 
disturbance, dismissed the Irish and Scots with great 
rewards, who honourably returned to their own country. 
Within a while after, an unaccountable sacrilege was com- 
mitted at St. David's, the shrine belonging to the cathedral 
being feloniously conveyed out of the church, all the plate 
and other utensils were stolen, and only the shrine left empty 
behind. The same year a civil war broke out in England, 
and several armies in several parts of the kingdom were up 
in array at the same time, and amongst the rest the Welsh, 
who entering into Gloucester and Worcester shires, burnt 
and destroyed all before them to the gate of Worcester. 
The king having drawn his army together, proceeded 
against his enemies by degrees, and falling upon their 
separate parties, without any great difficulty reduced all to 
A. D. 1089. obedience. Within two years after, Archbishop Sulien, the 
most pious and learned person in Wales, died, in the 
eightieth year of his age, and in the sixteenth year of 
his bishoprick; soon after whose death the town of St. 
David's suffered a more apparent calamity, being first 
plundered, and afterwards burnt by a company of pirates, 


* Welsh Chron. p. 117. f Lhechayd, in Radnorshire. 

J Excited by the Earls of Hereford and Shrewsbury. 

Called by the Romans Brangonia ; by the Britons Caer-Vrangon ; and b*> the Saxons 
Worcester. Humffrey Lhuyd, p. 26. Annales Waverlenses, p. 136. Simon Dunelme, 
p. 214. Matth. Paris, p. 12. Welsh Chron. p. 118. 


who much infested the British coasts. About the same 
time also died Cadifor the son of Calhoyn Lord of Dyfed, 
whose sons Lhewelyn and Eineon moved Gruffydh ap 
Meredith to take up arms against his sovereign Prince Rhys 
ap Tewdwr, with whom they joined all the forces they could 
levy among their tenants and dependants ; then passing 
with their army to Lhandydoch,* boldly challenged Rhys 
to fight; who thereupon gave them battle, and after a 
resolute engagement on both sides, the rebels were at length 
worsted, and put to flight, and so closely pursued, that 
Gruffydh ap Meredith was taken prisoner, and executed as 
a traitor :f but Eineon made his escape, and not venturing 
to trust himself with any of his own kindred, he fled to 
lestyn ap Gwrgantf Lord of Morgannwc, who was then 
in actual rebellion against Prince Rhys ; and to ingratiate 
himself the more in lestyn's favour, he entered into condi- 
tions for the performance of certain articles, one of which 
more especially was, that he should receive his daughter in 
matrimony ; that he would bring over to his aid a consider- 
able body of Normans, with whom he was intimately ac- 
quainted, as having served a long time in England. These 
articles being agreed to and recorded, Eineon posted to 
England, and in a little time brought matters so about, that 
he prevailed with Robert Fitzhamon and twelve more 
knights to levy a strong army of Normans, and to come to 
Wales to the protection and aid of lestyn. The beginning A. D. 1090. 
of the following year they landed in Glamorganshire, and 
were honourably received by lestyn, who, joining his power 
to theirs, marched to Prince Rhys's dominions, where, 
without the least shew of mercy to his own countrymen, he 
encouraged the Normans by his own example to spoil and 
destroy all that came before them. Prince Rhys was much 
grieved to find his country so unmercifully harassed; and 
though at this time very old, being above ninety-eight years 
of age, he would not refrain from meeting his enemies ; and 
having with all possible speed raised an army, he met with 
them near Brecknock, where, after a terrible fight and a 1091. 
great slaughter on both sides, he was unhappily slain. || 
With him fell the glory and grandeur of the principality of 
South Wales; for it was afterwards rent in pieces and 


* In the county of Pembroke. f Welsh Chron. p. 119. 

J lestyn ap Gwrgant wa's the founder of the fourth Royal Tribe of Wales, and de- 
scended in the twenty-ninth generation, from the illustrious Caractacus. " A sorry slip," 
says Mr. Yorke, " from such a stock." The Silurian prince had defended his country from 
foreign enemies : his descendant introduced them to enslave it. Royal Tribes, p. 129. 

The territory of Morgannwg or Morgan. 

|| Upon the Black Mountain near Brecknock. Humffrey Lhuyd, p. 80. Polydore 
Vergil, lib. x. p. 171. 


divided into several parts by piecemeal among the Norman 
captains, as is hereafter more particularly related. Prince 
Rhys left issue by the daughter of Rywalhon ap Confyn, 
two sons, Gruflfydh and Grono, the latter of whom was 
detained prisoner by the King of England ; * though the 
author of the winning of the lordship of Glamorgan affirms 
that he was slain together with his father in this battle 
against the Normans. 

The Normans having received a sufficient reward from 
lestyn, on account of their service against Prince Rhys, 
returned to their ships, in order to their voyage homeward ; 
but before they could loose anchor to sail off, Eineon re- 
called them, being ungratefully affronted by lestyn, who 
absolutely refused to make good to him the conditions which 
they had agreed upon before the Normans were invited to 
Wales. On this account, Eineon was so irreconcileably 
incensed against lestyn, that, to be revenged upon him, he 
was willing to sacrifice his native country into the hands of 
strangers ; and therefore persuaded the Normans as to the 
fertility of the country, and how easily they might conquer 
and make themselves masters of it. But it needed not many 
arguments to persuade a people that were willing of them- 
selves, and more especially when encouraged thereto by a 
person of some esteem in the country ; wherefore, without 
any more questions, they presently fell to their business ; 
and from friends became unexpectedly foes. lestyn was 
much surprised to find the Nonnans, whom he had but 
lately honourably dismissed from his service, and, as he 
thought with satisfaction, so soon become his enemies ; but 
perceiving a serpent in the hedge, by Eineon being upon 
such friendly terms among them, he quickly guessed at the 
reason, of which there was no remedy left, and for which he 
had to bewail the needless folly of his own knavery. The 
Normans easily dispossessed lestyn of the whole lordship of 
Glamorgan ; f the most pleasant and fertile part of which 
they divided among themselves ; leaving the more moun- 
tainous and craggy ground to the share of Eineon ; J but as 
Sir Edward Stradling, a descendant from one of Eineon's 
Norman associates, hath left a particular and interesting 
account of this expedition, and of the principal persons 
engaged in it, I shall here insert his statement. 


* Humffrey Lhuyd's Brev. p. 81. Welsh Chron. p. 120. 

f Humffrey Lhuyd's Brev. p. 80. Welsh Chron. p. 120. From Ran. Cest. lib. vii. cap. 
7. Marianus Scotus. 

J Camden's Britannia, p. 602 j Gibson's Edit. Humffrey Lhuyd's Breviary, p, 80. 
Welsh Chron. p. 120. 


The winning of the Lordship of Glamorgan or Mor- 
gannwc out of the Welshmen's Hands, and first of the 
description of the same Lordship. 

[Reprinted from the Edition of 1584.] 

J. N primis, the said lordship in length from Rymny bridge 
on the east side, to Pwlh Conan on the west side, is 27 
miles. The breadth thereof from the haven of Aburthaw 
alias Aberdaon, on the south side, to the confines of 
Bredinockshire, above Morleys castle, is 22 miles. 

Item the same lordship, being a lordship marcher, or a 
lordship royal, and holden of no other lordship, the lords 
ever since the winning of the same, owing their obedience 
only to the crown, have used therein jura regalia : that is, 
the trial of all actions, as well real as personal, with pleas of 
the crown, and authority to pardon all offences, treason only 

Item there were 11 lordships, to wit, Senghennyth, 
Myskyn, Ruthin, Lhanblethian, Tir larlh, Glyn Rothney, 
Auan, Neth, Coyty, Talauan and Lhantuit alias Bouiarton, 
that were members of the said lordship of Glamorgan. In 
every of the members were the like jura regalia used in all 
things, saving that if any wrong judgement were given in 
any of the courts of the said members, it should be reversed 
by a writ of false judgement in the county court of Glamor- 
gan, as superior court to the said members. Also all 
matters of conscience happening in debate in any of the said 
members, should be heard and determined in the chancery 
of Glamorgan, before the chancellor thereof. 

Item, the body of the said lordship of Glamorgan was 
(before the alteration of the laws in Wales) a county of itself, 
wherein the lord had two castles and three market towns, 
to wit, the castle and town of Kynfigs, alias Kefnffigen, in 
the west part thereof, and Cowbridge town, alias Pont vaen, 
in the middest. And the town and castle of Cardyff, or 
Caer-Dhydh, in the east part, in which castle of Cardyff 
the lord did most inhabit ; and therein he had his Chancery 
and Exchequer, and a fair court house, wherein the county 
court was monthly kept on the Monday for all the suiters of 
the shrievalty, that is, of the body of the said lordship itself, 
without the said members. 

Item, within the said shrievalty, or body of the said lord- 
ship, were 18 castles, and 36 knight's fees and an half, that 



held of the said lordship of Glamorgan by knights service, 
besides a great number of freeholders. 

6 Item, in eight of the said members were ten castles and 
four borough towns. 

7 Item, the annual revenues of the said lordship with the 
The value members, was 1000 marks, whereof was allowed in fees 400 

of . marks; of the which members aforesaid, John Gamage, 
beVore'the' ^sq. occupieth one at this day, descended unto him from 
purchase the Turberuiles, his ancestors, that is to wit, the lordship of 
thereof. Coytie ; and the heir of John Bassett enjoyeth another, to 
wit, the lordship of Talauan, by purchase from King Ed- 
ward the sixth. The other nine members, with four of the 
aforesaid knights fees, and all the castles, market towns, and 
borough towns, with the demesnes of the same ; and all the 
lands that were in the lords hands, parcel of the said lord- 
ship and members, the earl of Pembroke hath purchased. 
The value So that there remaineth now to the senior of the said lord- 
of the gj^p Q Gl am organ (being in the Queen's Majesty's hands) 
but the moity only of the manor of Dynaspowys, of the value 
of 26 pounds by the year. 

The Manner of the winning of the said Lordship. 

A.D. 1091. N the year of our Lord 1091, and in the fourth year of the 
reign of King William Rufus, one lestyn, the son of 
Gurgant, being lord of the said lordship of Glamorgan, 
Rees ap Tewdwr, prince of South Wales, that is, of Caer- 
marthyneshire and Cardiganshire, made war upon him. 
Whereupon the said lestyn, understanding himself unable to 
withstand the said Rees without some aid otherwise, sent 
one Eneon, a gentleman of his, to England, to one Robertus 
Fitzhamon, a worthy man, and knight of the privy chamber 
with the said king, to retain him for his succour. The 
which Robert, being desirous to exercise himself in the 
feats of war, agreed soon with him thereto for a salary to 
him granted for the same. Whereupon the said Robert 
Fitzhamon retained to his service for the said journey, 
twelve knights, and a competent number of soldiers, and 
went into Wales, and joining there with the power of the 
said lestyn, fought with the said Rees ap Tewdwr and 
killed him, and one Conan his son. After which victory, 
the said Robert Fitzhamon, minding to return home again 
with his company, demanded his salary to him due of the 
said lestyn, according to the covenants and promises agreed 



upon between him and the aforesaid Eneon, on the behalf 
of the said lestyn, his master. The which to perform in all 
points the said lestyn denied ; and thereupon they fell out, 
so that it came to be tried by battle. And, for so much 
as the said Eneon saw his master go from divers articles and 
promises that he had willed him to conclude with the said 
Robert Fitzhamon, on his behalf, he forsook his master, 
and took part, he and his friends, with the said Robert 
Fitzhamon. In the which conflict, the said lestyn with 
a great number of his men were slain, whereby the said 
Robert Fitzhamon won the peaceable possession of the 
whole lordship of Glamorgan, with the members, of the 
which he gave certain castles and manors, in reward of ser- 
vice, to the said twelve knights, and to other his gentlemen. 

The Names and Sirnames of the said Twelve Knights 
were tJiese. 

1 Y ? ILLIAM de Londres alias London. 

2 Richardus de Grana villa alias Greenfeeld. 

3 Paganus de Turberuile. 

4 Robertus de S. Quintino alias S. Quintine. 

5 Richardus de Syward. 

6 Gilbertus de Humfrevile. 

7 Rogerus de Berkrolles. 

8 Reginaldus de Sully. 

9 Peter le Soore. 

10 Johannes le Fleming. 

1 1 Oliverus de S. John, a younger brother of the Lord S. 

John, of Basing. 

12 William le Esterling, whose ancestors came out of 

Danske to England with the Danes, and is now by 
shortness of speech called Stradling. 

The Parcels given by the said Robert Fitzhamon to the 
said Twelve Knights and other s f in Reward of Service. 

J.N primis, to the said William de Londres, the said i 
Robert Fitzhamon gave the castle and manor of Ogmor, Ogmor. 
being four knights' fees ; now parcel of the possessions of 
the duchy of Lancaster. 

Item, to the forenamed Sir Richard Greenfeeld, he gave 2 
the castle and lordship of Neth, being one of the members NeUl - 
aforesaid ; and now parcel of the possessions of the Right 
Hon. the Earl of Penbroke. 



3 Item, to Sir Paine Turberuile, he gave the castle and 
oy y ' lordship of Coyty, being another of the said members ; and 

now parcel of the possessions of John Gamage, Esq. 

4 Item, to Sir Robert S. Quintine he gave the castle and 
ih an BIC l or d s hip f khan Blethan, being another of the said mem- 
bers; and now parcel of the possessions of S. William 
Herbert, of Swansey, Knt. 

5 Item, to Sir Richard Syward, he gave the castle and 
Talauan. lordship of Talauan, being another of the said members ; 

and now parcel of the possessions of Anthony Maunsell, 

6 Item, to Sir Gilbert Humfrevile, he gave the castle and 
Penmarke. manor o f Penmarke, being three knights' fees ; now parcel 

of the possessions of the Right Hon. Lord St. John, of 

7 Item, to Sir Reginald de Sully, he gave the castle and 
Sul| y- manor of Sully, so since called after his name, being two 

knights' fees ; now divided betwixt the Earl of Pembroke, 
and the Lord St. John, of Bledso. 

8 Item, to Sir Roger Berkrolles, he gave the manor of East 
Orchard O rcnar d, being one knight's fee ; now parcel of the pos- 
sessions of S. William Herbert, of Swansey. 

9 Item, to Sir Peter le Soore, he gave the castle and manor 
Peterton. o f p e terton, so now called after his name, being one knight's 

fee ; now parcel of the possessions of the Earl of Penbroke. 

10 Item, to Sir John Fleming, he gave the castle and manor 
?orge ' of St. George, being one knight's fee; and holden of his 

posterity the Flemings to this day. 

n Item, to Sir John St. John, he gave the castle and manor 

Fonmon. o f F O nmon or Fenuon, being one knight's fee; and now 

parcel of the possessions of the Lord St. John, of Bledso. 
12 Item, to Sir William le Esterling alias Stradling, he gave 

s. Donates, the castle and manor of St. Donats or St. Denwit, being one 
knight's fee ; now parcel of the possessions of Sir Edward 
Stradling, Knt. that now is. 

Sum. Four Lordships Members, and Thirteen Knights 


13 ITEM, he gave to the aforesaid Eneon, that took his part, 
the lordship of Senghennyth, being another of the said 

14 Item, he gave the castle and lordship of Auan, another of 
the said members, to Caradoc Fitz lestyn, the eldest son of 
the said lestyn. 



Item, be gave the lordship of Ruthyn, another of the said 15 
members, to another son of the said lestyn. 

Item, the rest of the foresaid knights' fees, being twenty- ie 
two and an half, he distributed part to gentlemen that served 
him, and part to the Welshmen, right owners of the same. 

The Portion that the Lord kept for himself and his 


Jl HE castle of Cardyff and Kenfigg, with the foresaid 
three market towns of Cardyff, Kenfigg, and Cowbrige, and 
the shrievalty, being a body of the said lordship of Gla- 
morgan, and all the demesnes of the same, with the rest of 
the said members ; to wit, Miskyn, Glynrothney, Tyr larl, 
and Boviarton alias Lentwit: and the chief seniory of the 
whole the said Robert Fitzhamon kept to himself. And in 
the said lordship of Boviarton he had a large grange or 
house of husbandry, with the lands to the same belonging, 
that served him for the provision of corn to his house. He 
dwelt himself most in the said castle or town of Cardyff, 
being a fair haven town. And because he would have the 
aforesaid twelve knights and their heirs give attendance 
upon him every county day (which was always kept by the 
sheriff in the utter ward of the said castle, on the Monday 
monthly as is before said) he gave every one of them a 
.lodging within the said utter ward, the which their heirs, 
or those that purchased the same of their heirs, do enjoy at 
this day. 

Also the 1 morrow after the county day, being the Tuesday, 
the lord's chancellor sat always in the chancery there, for 
the determining of matters of conscience in strife, happening 
as well in the said shrievalty as in the members ; the which 
day also, the said knights used to give attendance upon the 
lord ; and the Wednesday every man drew homeward, and 
then began the courts of the members to be kept in order, 
one after another. 

The Pedigree of Robert Fitzhamon, and of his Heirs, 
Lords of Glamorgan. 

fWl Some do af- 

1 JL HE said Robert Fitzhamon, was son to Hamon, firm that he 
a great lord, and kinsman of William the Conqueror, AstreTiie in 

who Normandy. 
H 2 



Matt. West, 
lib. 2, p. 21. 
I. Castor. 
Matt. Paris, 
page 22. 

who came into the realm with him. This Robert (as is 
before said) was knight of the privy chamber with King 
William Rufus ; who (as it appeareth in the Chronicles) 
dreamed the night before the king was killed, that he 
saw the king torn in pieces by wolves ; and therefore, by 
his persuasion, he walled the king to forbear to go 
abroad that forenoon. But the king, when he had 
dined, there was no man able to stay him, but that he 
would ride forth a hunting into the new forest, where 
he was slain by Walter Tyrrel, by the glancing of his 
arrow shooting at a red deer. 

2 Mawd, the only daughter and heiress of the said 
Robert, was married to Robert, Earl of Glocester, 
base son to King Henry the First. 

3 William, Earl of Glocester, son to the said Robert 
and Mawd, died without issue male, leaving behind him 
three daughters, of the which, Isabel, the eldest, was 
married to King John, then Earl of Oxenford and 
Lancaster, (as some chronicles do declare,) who, so soon 
as he was made king was divorced from her, and then 
she was married to Geffrey Mandevile, Earl of Essex, 
and died without issue, as far as I can find. 

4 The second daughter named Amicia, was married to 
Sir Gilbart de Clare, then Earl of Clare, by whom he 
had the earldom of Glocester : and Mabile, the third 
daughter, was married to the Earl of Eureux. 

5 Sir Gilbart de Clare, son to the said Gilbart, was the 
fourth Earl of Glocester. 

6 Sir Richard de Clare's son was the fifth Earl. 

7 Sir Gilbart's son was the sixth Earl. 

8 Sir Gilbart's son, who married Jane de Acres, 
daughter to King Edward I. was the seventh Earl. 

9 Sir Gilbart de Clare their son was the eighth Earl, 
and he was slain by the Scots in King Edward the 
Second's time ; and then the earldom fell between his 
three sisters. Of the which, Elianor, the eldest, was 
married to Hugh Spencer, the son, in her right Earl of 
Glocester. Margaret, the second, was married to Peires 
Gaueston, and after to the Lord Awdeley. Elizabeth, 
the third, was married first to William, Lord Burgh, 
Earl of Ulster, and after to Ralph Roch, Baron of 
Armoy, in Ireland ; she was married the third time to 
Theobald L. Verdoun, and lastly to Sir Roger Damory, 
and had issue by every one of them. 

Sir Hugh Spencer had to his wives purpartee the said 


lordship of Glamorgan. 




1 1 Sir Hugh, Lord Spencer, their son, enjoyed the same, 
and died without issue. 

12 Edward, Lord Spencer, son to Edward, brother to 
the said Hugh, succeeded the said Hugh therein. 

13 Thomas, Lord Spencer, his son, succeeded him. 

14 Richard, Lord Spencer, his son, succeeded him, and 
died in ward. 

15 Isabell, sister to Richard, succeeded him, and married 
with Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Worcester, and Lord 
Burgavenny, who had issue by her a daughter only, and 
died. The which daughter was married to Edward, the 
son of Dawraby, Ralph Neuel, Earl of Westmoreland. 
And after the death of the said Earl of Worcester, the 
said Isabell married with Richard Beauchamp, Earl of 

16 Henry Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick, and after Duke 
of Warwick, their son, died without issue. 

17 Anne, his sister of whole blood succeeded him, and 
married with Richard Neuel, after Earl of Salisburie, 
and in her right Earl of Warwick, and had issue two 
daughters, Mary, married to the Duke of Clarence, and 
Anne, married first to Prince Edward, slain at Teux- 
burie, and after his death with Richard, Duke of 
Glocester, who was afterwards King of England. 

18 The said Anne and King Richard (being then Duke 
of Glocester) had the said lordship given unto them 
by the said Anne, Countess of Warwick, her mother. 

19 King Henry the Seventh enjoyed the same after the 
death of King Richard. 

20 lasper, Duke of Bedford, enjoyed the same by the 
gift of King Henry the Seventh, and died without 
issue ; and by reason thereof it remained to the king 

21 King Henry the Eighth enjoyed the same after his 

22 King Edward the Sixth succeeded him therein, and 
sold almost all the lands thereof. 

23 Queen Mary succeeded him in the seniory. 

24 Queen Elizabeth our most dread sovereign that now 
is, doth succeed her in the same seniory, and hath sold 
the lordship of Neth from it ; so that now there remain 
no more lands appertaining to the seniory, but the 
moity of the manor of Deinaspowys only. 



The Pedigree of Londres, Lord of Ogmore, one of the 
said Twelve. 

1 WlLLIAM LONDRES, lord of the castle and 
manor of Ogmore, (as is before said,) won afterwards 
the lordships of Kydwelhey and Carnewilhion, in Car- 
marthenshire, from the Welshmen ; and gave to Sir 
Arnold Butler his servant, the castle and manor of Dun- 
reeven, in the lordship of Ogmore aforesaid. The 
which ever since hath continued in the heirs male of 
the said Arnold Butler, until within these few years that 
it fell to Walter Vaghan, sister's son to Arnold Butler, 
the last of the Butlers that was owner thereof. 

2 Simon de Londres, his son, succeeded him. 

3 William de Londres succeeded his father Simon, and 
had issue one son. 

4 Moris de Londres, his son, succeeded him, and had 
issue one only daughter, 

5 The said daughter married with one Seward, a man 
of great possessions. 

6 They had issue a daughter only, married to Henrie, 
Earl of Lancaster, brother to Thomas, Earl of Lan- 

7 Henrie their son, made afterwards Duke of Lancaster, 
did succeed them; and so the said three lordships, 
Ogmore, Kydwelhey, and Carnewilhion, became parcels 
of the Duchy of Lancaster ever after. 

The Pedigree of Greenefeeld. 

Richard Greenefeeld before said, (to whom the 
lordship of Neth was given in reward,) was lord of the 
castle and manor of Bydyford, in Devonshire, at the time he 
came into Wales with the said Robert Fitzhamon, and 
founded an abby of white monks in Neth, and gave the 
whole lordship to the maintenance of the same, and then 
returned back again to Bydyford, whereat the issue male of 
his body doth yet remain, and enjoy eth the same. 

The Pedigree of Turberuile, Lord of Goyty, 

I ^IR Paine Turberuile, Lord of Coyty, as is before 



2 Sir Simon Turberuile succeeded him, and died with- 
out issue. 

3 Sir Gilbart Turberuile succeeded his brother. 

4 Sir Paine Turberuile, his son, succeeded him, and 
married Mawd, daughter and sole heir to Morgan Gam, 
one of the nephews of the aforesaid lestyn. 

5 Sir Gilbart, their son, quartered lestyn's arms with 

6 Sir Gilbart, his son, succeeded him. 

7 Sir Richard, his son, succeeded him. 

8 Sir Paine, his son, succeeded him, who merried with 
Wenlhian, daughter to Sir Richard Talbot, Knt. 
and had issue by her two sons, that is to wit, Gilbart 
and Richard; and four daughters, namely, Catharine, 
Margaret, Agnes, and Sara. 

9 Sir Gilbart succeeded Sir Paine his father. 

10 Sir Gilbart, his son, succeeded him, and died without 

J.1 Sir Richard, his father's brother, succeeded him, and 

having no issue, entailed the lordship of Coyty to the 

heirs male of Sir Roger Berkerolles, Knt. 

1 Sir Roger Berkerolles, Knt. son to Sir William 
Berkerolles, Knt. and Phelice his wife, one of the 
daughters of Veere, Earl of Oxenfbrd, which said Sir 
Roger had married Catharine, the eldest sister of the 
said Sir Richard. And for default of such issue, the 
remainder to the heirs male of Sir Richard Stakepoole, 

2 Knt. who married with Margaret, second sister of the 
said Richard. And for default of such issue, the 
remainder to the heirs of Sir John de la Beare, Knt. 

,3 and Agnes his wife, the third sister to the said Richard. 
And for lack of such issue male, the remainder to the 
4 heirs male of William Gamage, and of Sara his wife, 
the fourth sister to the said Sir Richard Turberuile. 

The said Berkrolles, Stakepoolle, and De la Beare, 
died without issue male,* by reason whereof, after the 


* Robert, the only brother of the said Sir Richard Stacpoole, married a daughter of 
Sir John Sitsylt or Cecil!. 

T Sir William Stacpoole, his eldest son, married a daughter of Howel ap Ithel, Lord of 
Roos and Ryuonioc, now Denbighland. The said Sir William Stacpoole had a command 
in an army, raised in the reign of King Stephen, against David, King of Scots, but died 
young, leaving three sons and one daughter. 

Sir Richard Stacpoole, his eldest son, of Stacpoole, in the county of Pembrooke, married 
a daughter of Sir Henry Vernon, of Haddon, in the Peke. 

No mention is made of the second son ; but Robert, the youngest son, epcouraged by 
his cousin Robert Fitzstephen, went over to Ireland with Richard, Earl of Strigule, known 
by the name of Strongbow, and was a captain of archers in that division of the army that 



death of Sir Laurence Berkerolles, Knt. son to the said 
Sir Roger, and Catharine his wife; the said lordship 
fell to Sir William Gamage, son to Gilbert, son to the 
foresaid William Gamage, and Sara. The said William 
was son to Sir Robert Gamage, Knt. son to Paine 
Gamage, lord of the manor of Rogiade, in the county of 
Monmowth. The foresaid Sir William had issue 
Thomas, Thomas had issue John, John had issue 
Morgan, Morgan had issue Sir Thomas Gamage, Knt. 
and Margaret, wife to lenkin Thomas, and Anne, wife 
to Robert Raglan, and Catharine, wife to Reginald ap 
Howel, and Wenlhian, wife to Thomas ap Meyric. 

The said Sir Thomas Gamage had issue Robert 
Gamage, that late was ; Catharine his eldest daughter, 
wife to Sir Thomas Stradling, Knt. Marie the second 
daughter, wife to Matthew Herebert ; Margaret the third 
daughter, wife to the Lord William Howard; and 
Elizabeth the fourth daughter, wife to Richard Hogan, 
of Penbrookeshire, Esq. The said Robert Gamage had 
issue John Gamage, that now is. 

1 Sole heir general to the said Sir Roger Berkrolles, 
Knt. and Catharine, one of the four sisters, and heirs 
general to the aforesaid Sir Richard Turberuile, Knt. 
is Sir Edward Stradling, Knt. that now is. 

2 Sole heir general to the said Sir Richard Stakepoole, 
of Penbrookeshire, and Margaret his wife, another of 
the four sisters, and heirs general to the said Sir Richard 
Turberuille, Knt. is Sir George Vernon, Knt. 

3 Heirs general to the said Sir John de la Beare, Knt. 
and Agnes his wife, another of the four sisters, and heirs 
general of the said Sir Richard Turberuille, Knt. are 
Oliuer S. John, Lord S. John, of Bledso, and William 
Basset, of Glamorgan, Esq. that now is. 

4 John Gamage, Esq. that now is, is as well heir 
general lineally descended from Sara the fourth sister, 
and heir to the said Sir Richard Turberuile, Knt. as 
also heir by the entail aforesaid, to the whole lordship 
of Coyty. 


Fitzstephen commanded under Strongbow, in the year 1168, the fourteenth year of King 
Henry the Second. 

The said Robert Stacpoole after settled in Ireland, and his lineal descendant has a large 
property in the county of Clare, in that kingdom. 

The old mansion of Stacpoole Court, and a large estate in Pembrokeshire, descended 
to a grand-daughter of the second Sir Richard Stacpoole, and became the property of the 
son of the late Pryse Campbell, Esq. who was member for that county, and died in 1769 


Robert de S. Quintine, his Pedigree. 

Robert de S. Quintine, to whom the lordship of 
Lhanblethian was given, and his issue male enjoyed the 
same until King Henry the Third's time. And then, or in 
a short time after, his issue male failed, of whom is de- 
scended Sir William Parr, late Marquis of Northampton. 

Richard de Syward, his Pedigree. 

Richard Syward, to whom the lordship of Talauan 
w r as given, and his issue male, enjoyed the same until King 
Edward the Third's time ; at which time the heirs thereof 
having other lands in Somersetshire, sold the said lordship 
to the Lord Spencer, then Lord of Glamorgan, and went 
into Somersetshire to dwell there, where his issue male 
continueth yet. 

Gilbert de Humfreuile, his Pedigre. 

IR Gilbert Humfreuile aforesaid, to whom the castle 
and manor of Penmarke was given, and his issue male, 
enjoyed the same till the said King Edward the Third's 
time; and then the inheritance of the said castle and manor 
descended to Sir John S. John, of Fonmon, Knt. to whom 
the forenamed Lord S. John, of Bledso, is sole heir. 


Roger de Berkerolles, Knt. his Pedigree. 

Roger Berkerolles aforesaid, Knt. to whom the 
manor of East Orchard was given ; and his issue male, 
enjoyed the same till the thirteenth year of Henrie the 
Fourth; that Sir Laurence Berkerolles, Knt. died, whom 
Sir Edward Stradling, Knt. as sole heir did succeed, being 
son to Sir William Stradling, Knt. son to Sir Edward 
Stradling, Knt. and Wenlhian sole sister and heir to the 
said Sir Laurence, of .whom Edward Stradling, Knt. (that 
now is) is lineally descended. 



Reginald de Sully, Knt. his Pedigree. 

Reginald de Sully, to whom the castle and manor of 
Sully was given, and his issue male, enjoyed the same until 
about King Edward the First's time. And then it fell to a 
daughter married to Sir Morgan de Avan, Lord of the 
lordship of Avan above-named; whose son, Sir John de 
Avan, had but one daughter, of whom Sir George Blunt, of 
Shropshire, is lineally descended as sole heir, whose ances- 
tor gave the said lordship of Avan, and the castle and 
manor of Sully to the Lord Spencer, in exchange for other 
lands in England. 

Peter le Soore, Knt. his Pedigree. 

Peter le .Soore, Knt. to whom was given the c,astle 
and manor of Peter's Towne, and his issue male, enjoyed 
the same until King Henry the Fourth's time, and then died 
without issue, and his inheritance fell between divers. 

John le Fleming, Knt. his Pedigree. 

John le Fleming, Knt. to whom the castle and manor 
.of S. George was given, and his issue male, enjoyed the 
same until King Henry the Fourth's time ; and then it fell 
to Edmond Malefant, who had married a daughter to the 
last Fleming. And in King Henry the Seventh's time the 
Malefants' issue by Fleming's daughter failed; and then 
It fell to John Butler, of Dunreeven above named, Esq. and 
after the death of him and of Arnold his son, both the 
inheritances of Fleming and Butler fell to Walter Vaghan, 
of Brodemard, in the county of Hereford, Esq. now living, 
sister's son to the said Arnold Butler. 

Oliuer de S. John, Knt. his Pedigree. 

Oliuer S. John, Knt. to whom the castle and manor 
of Fonmon was given, and his heirs male have ever since 
enjoyed the same, to whom the above-named Lord S. John, 
ofBledso, that now is, is sole heir; whose ancestors from 



the winning of the said lordship of Glamorgan out of the 
Welshmens hands, have continually dwelt at Fonmon afore- 
said, until the latter time of King Edward the Fourth. 
That John S. John, Esq. had the said lordship of Bledso, 
and many other possessions besides, by the death of dame 
Margaret Beauchampe, his mother, who was also mother to 
Margaret, Duchess of Somerset, mother to King Henry the 
Seventh. Since which time the said John S. John, and Sir 
John S. John, Knt. father to my lord that now is, have 
always dwelt in Bledso, but they do keep their lands in 
Wales still in their hands. 

William le Esterling, alias Stradling, his Pedigree. 

1 J^IR William Esterling, Knt. to whom the castle and 
manor of S. Donat's was given. 

2 Sir John le Esterling, Knt. his son, succeeded him. 

3 Sir Morris le Esterling, Knt. his son, succeeded him. 

4 Sir Robert le Esterling, Knt. (most commonly called 
Stradling by shortness of speech and change of some 
letters) succeeded him. 

5 Sir Gilbert Stradling, Knt. his son, succeeded him. 

6 Sir William Stradling, Knt. his son, succeeded him. 

7 Sir John Stradling, Knt. his son, succeeded him. 
It doth not appear in what stock or surname any of these 
seven knights above named did marry ; but the names of 
the wives of William the first, Robert, and John the 
second, were Hawisia, Mathilda, and Cicilia. 

8 Sir Peter Stradling, Knt. his son, succeeded him, 
who in the beginning of King Edward the First's time 
and reign married lulian, sole daughter and heir of 
Thomas Hawey, by whom he had three manors, Hawey 
and Comhawey, in Somersetshire, yet remaining to his 
heirs, and Compton Hawey, in Dorsetshire, sold of late 

9 Sir Edward Stradling, Knt. their son, succeeded 
them, and he quartered the Haweys' arms with his, and 
married with Elianpr, daughter and heir to Gilbert 
Strangbow, a younger brother, whose wife was daughter 
and heir to Richard Garnon, and had by her two 
manors in Oxefordshire. 

10 Sir Edward Stradling, Knt. his son, succeeded him, 
and married with Wenlhian, daughter to Roger Berk- 
rolles, Knt. and sole sister and heir to Sir Laurence 
Berkrolles, Knt. as it happened afterward. 


11 Sir William Stradling, Knt. his son, married with 
Isabel, daughter and heir to John S. Barbe, of Somer- 
setshire ; but he had no lands by her, for it was entailed 
to the heirs male. This Sir William, in King Richard 
the Second's time, went a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and 
received there also the orders of knighthood of the 
sepulchre of Christ. 

12 Sir Edward Stradling, Knight, his son, succeeded 
him, who, because he was sole heir general to the said 
S. Barbe, did quarter S. Barbe's arms with his. To 
whom also (in the thirteenth year of King Henry the 
Fourth) fell the whole inheritance of the Berkerolles, 
and the right of the fourth part of Turberuile's in- 
heritance, Lord of Coyty aforesaid ; the which, for lack 
of issue male of the said Berkerolles, remained to 
Gamage and to his heirs male by the especial entail 
Aforesaid. The which Sir Edward did quarter not only 
the said Berkerolles' arms with his, but also the Tur- 
beruiles and lestynes arms ; of whom the Turberuiles 
had in marriage one of the inheritors as is before said, 
because the said Sir Edward was one of the four heirs 
general to Sir Richard Turberuile, to wit, son to Sir 
William Stradling, son to Wenlhian, sister and heir to 
the said Laurence Berkerolles, and daughter to 
Catharine, eldest sister, and one of the four heirs 
general to the aforesaid Sir Richard Turberuile. 

The said Sir Edward married with Jane, daughter to 
Henry Beauford, afterwards Cardinal, begotten (before 
he was priest) upon Alice, one of the daughters of 
Richard, Earl of Arundel ; and in the beginning of 
King Henry the Seventh's reign, he went likewise on 
pilgrimage unto lerusalem, as his father did, and 
received the order of the sepulchre there. 

This Sir Edward had to his brother Sir John Strad- 
ling, Knight, who married with the heir of Dauncy, in 
Wiltshire, and had issue Sir Edmond, who had issue 
John and Edmond. John had issue Anne, Lady 
Davers, of whom the Davers, Hugerfordes, Fynes, and 
Leuet, and a great progeny of them are descended ; and 
of the said Edmond cometh Carnysoyes, of Cornewal. 

The said Edward had another brother called William, 
of whom Stradlyn, of Ruthyn, and others are descended ; 
the same William had a daughter named Wenlhian, 
who, by the Earl of Ryuers, had a daughter, married to 
Sir Robert Poynes, of whom cometh all the Poynes, the 
Newtons, Perots, and others. 


13 Sir Harrie Stradling, Knight, his son, succeeded 
him, and married with Elizabeth, sister of whole blood 
to Sir William Herbert, Knight, Earl of Penbrooke, 
and had issue by her one son and two daughters ; one of 
them was married to Myles ap Harry, of whom Mrs. 
Blanch ap Harrie and her brethren and uncles are 
descended ; the other daughter was married to Fleming, 
of Monton, in Wales. 

This Sir Harrie, in the sixteenth year of King Edward 
the Fourth, went in like manner on pilgrimage to Jeru- 
salem, and received the order of the sepulchre there, as 
his father and grandfather did, and died in the Isle of 
Cypres in his coming home ; whose book is to be seen 
as yet, with a letter that his man brought from him to 
his lady and wife. The saying is, that divers of his said 
ancestors made the like pilgrimage, but there remaineth 
no memory in writing but of these three. 

This Sir Harrie, sailing from his house in Somerset- 
shire to his house in Wales, was taken prisoner by a 
Brytaine pirate, named Colyn Dolphyn, whose redemp- 
tion and charges stood him in 2000 marks; for the 
payment whereof he was driven to sell the castle and 
manor of Basselek and Sutton, in Monmouthshire, and 
the manors in Oxfordshire. 

14 Thomas Stradling, Esq. his son, succeeded him, and 
married lenet, daughter to Thomas Matthew, of Rayder, 
Esq. and had issue by her two sons, Edward and Harrie, 
and one daughter named Jane, and died before he was 
twenty-six years of age. After whose death, his wife 
married with Sir Rice ap Thomas, Knight of the Garter. 
Harrie married with the daughter and heir of Thomas 
lubb, learned in the law, and had issue by her Francis 
Stradling, of S. George, of Bristow, yet living. lane 
was married to Sir William Gruffyth, of North Wales, 
Knt. and had issue by her three sons, Edward, Sir Rice 
Gruffyth, Knt. and John, and seven daughters. The 
oldest married to Stanley, of Houghton, the second to 
Sir Richard Buckley, Knt. the third to Lewys, the 
fourth to Moston, the fifth to Conwey, the sixth to 
Williams, the seventh to Pers Motton, and after to 
Simon Theloal, Esq. whose wife at this time she is ; the 
eighth to Philips. Of which daughters there be a won- 
derful number descended. Edward married Jane, 
daughter to Sir J ohn Puleston, Knt. and had issue by 
her three daughters ; Jane married to William Herbert, 
of S. Julian ; Catharine married, to William Herbert, of 



Swansey, and another daughter married to Sir Nicholas 
Bagnoll, Knt. 

15 Sir Edward Stradling, Knt. succeeded his father, and 
married with Elizabeth, one of the three daughters of 
Sir Thomas Arundell, of Lanheyron, in Cornewall, Knt. 
The other two were married to Speke and S. Lowe, and 
had issue four sons, Thomas, Robert, Edward, and 
John. Robert married Watkyn Lodher's daughter, and 
by her hath many children ; Edward married with the 
daughter and heir of Robert Baglan, of Lantwit, and 
hath also divers children ; and John is a priest. Also 
the said Sir Edward had two daughters ; Jane married 
to Alexander Popham, of Somersetshire, of whom is a 
great number descended ; and Catharine married to Sir 
Thomas Palmer, of Sussex, who hath a son named 

16 Sir Thomas Stradling, Knt. his son, succeeded him, 
and married Catharine, the eldest daughter to Sir 
Thomas Gamage, of Coyty,Knt. and to dame Margaret 
his wife, daughter to Sir John S. John, of Bledso, Knt. 
by whom he hath living yet two sons, Edward and 
Dauid ; and five daughters, Elizabeth, Damasyn, lane, 
loice, and Wenlhian. 

17 Sir Edward Stradling, Knt. that now is, married 
Agnes, second daughter to Sir Edward Gage, of Sussex, 
Knt. and as yet in the year 1572 hath no issue. 

Memorandum, that of the heirs male of the aforesaid 
twelve knights that came with Sir Robert Fitzhamori to 
the winning of Glamorgan, the lordship aforesaid, there 
is at this day but the Stradling alive, that dwelleth in 
Wales, and enjoy eth the portion given in reward to his 

There be yet of the younger brothers of the Turberuiles 
and Flemings. 

Greenefeeld and Syward do yet remain, but they 
dwell in England, and have done away their lands in 

The Lord S. John, of Bledso (although he keepeth 
his ancient inheritance in Wales) yet he dwelleth in 

Thus far the copy of the winning of Glamorgan, as I 
received the same at the hands of' Mrs. Blanch Parrie, 
penned by Sir Edward Stradling, Knt. 




We may here observe what a train of circumstances 
concurred together, in favour of the Normans having pos- 
session of this lordship : for had not Eineon, being van- 
quished by Prince Rhys, fled to lestyn rather than to 
another, or had not lestyn been so vain as to attempt the 
conquest of South Wales, and to that end consented to the 
advice of Eineon, there had been no necessity of inviting 
the Normans at all to Wales. And then, the Normans 
being arrived, had not Testyn faithlessly violated his pro- 
mise, and refused to perform the articles agreed upon 
between him and Eineon, or had not Eineon pursued so 
desperate a revenge, but satisfied his passion upon lestyn, 
without prejudice to his country, the Normans would have 
returned home with satisfaction, and consequently could 
never have been proprietors of that noble country they then 
forcibly possessed. And again, the Welsh here experienced 
the dangerous consequence of calling in a foreign nation to 
their aid ; the Saxons had already dispossessed them of the 
best part of the island of Britain, and now the Normans 
seized upon a great part of that small country which had 
escaped the sovereignty and conquest of the English. 

About the same time that Robert Fitzhamon took the 
lordship of Glamorgan, Barnard Newmarch,* a nobleman 
likewise of Normandy, obtained by conquest the lordship of 
Brecknock; and Henry de Newburgh, son to Roger de 
Bellemont, by the Conqueror made Earl of Warwick, the 
country of Gower. But Barnard Newmarch gave the peo- 
ple of Wales some small satisfaction and content, by marry- 
ing Nest, the daughter also of Nest, daughter to Lhewelyn 
ap Gruffydh Prince of Wales, by whom he had issue a son 
called Mahael. This worthy gentleman being legally to 
succeed his father in the lordship of Brecknock, was after- 
wards disinherited by the malice and baseness of his own 
unnatural mother. The occasion was thus : Nest becoming 
enamoured of a certain knight, with whom she had more 
than ordinary familiarity, even beyond what she expressed 
to her own husband ; Mahael, who perceived her dissolute 
and loose behaviour, counselled her to take care of her 
fame and reputation, and to leave off that scandalous liberty 
which she took ; and afterwards meeting casually her gallant 
coming from her, fought and grievously wounded him. 


* Several gentlemen came about this time to Brecknock with Barnard Newmarch, to 
whom he gave the following manors, which their heirs enjoy at this time : The manor of 
Abercynvric and Slowch to the Aubreys : the manors of Llanhamlach and Tal-v-Lhyn 
to the Walbiefs: the manor of Gilston to the Gunters : and the manor of Pontw'ilym to 
the Havards, &c. See Welsh Chron. p. 150. Camden's Britannia, p. 590, Gibson's Edit 


Upon this Nest, to be revenged upon her son, went to 
Henry the First, King of England, and in his presence took 
her corporeal oath, that her son was illegitimate, and not begot 
by Barnard Newmarch her husband, but by another person ; 
by virtue of which oath, or rather perjury, Mahael was 
disinherited, and his sister, whom her mother attested to be 
legitimate, was bestowed by the King upon Milo, the son 
of Walter Constable, afterwards Earl of Hereford, who, in 
right of his wife, enjoyed the whole estate of Barnard 
Newmarch, Lord of Brecknock. Of this Milo, it is re- 
ported, that telling King Henry of a strange accident which 
had occurred to him by Lhyn Savathan, in Wales, where 
the birds upon the pond, at the passing by of Gruffydh, the 
son of Rhys ap Theoder, seemed by their chirping to be in 
a manner overjoyed ; the king replied, it was not so wonder- 
ful, " for although (says he) manifestly we have violently 
and injuriously oppressed that nation, yet it is known that 
they are the lawful and original inheritors of that country." 
Whilst the Normans were thus carving for themselves in 
Glamorgan and Brecknock, Cadogan ap Blethyn ap Confyn, 
towards the end of April, entered into Dy ved, and, having 
ravaged and destroyed the country, returned back: but 
within eight weeks after there succeeded him a more fatal 
enemy ; for the Normans landing in Dyved and Cardigan, 
began to fortify themselves in castles and other strong 
places, and to inhabit the country upon the sea-shore, 
which before was not in their possession. Indeed the 
Normans, having by the connivance of the Conqueror al- 
ready got into their hands all the best estates in England, 
began now to spy out the commodities of Wales; and 
perceiving, moreover, how well Robert Fitzhamon and 
Barnard Newmarch had sped there, thought they might 
expect the like fortune. Wherefore, having obtained a 
grant from King William (who readily consented to their 
request, because by this means he killed two birds with one 
stone, procuring to himself their utmost service upon occa- 
sion, and withal providing for them without any charge to 
himself) they came to Wales, and so entered upon the 
estates appointed them by the king, which they held of him 
by knight-service, having first done homage and sworn 
fealty for the same. Roger Montgomery Earl of Arundel 
did homage for the lordships of Powys and Cardigan; 
Hugh Lupus Earl of Chester for Tegengl and Ryfonioc, 
together with all the land lying upon the sea-shore to the 
river Conwy; Arnulph, a younger son of Roger Mont- 
gomery, for Dyved: Barnard Newmarch for Brecknock; 



Ralph Mortimer for Elvel; Hugh de Lacy for the land of 
Ewyas; Eustace Omer for Mold and Hapredale; and 
several others did the like homage for other lands. But 
Roger Montgomery, who by the Conqueror was created 
Earl of Arundel and Shrewsbury, entered in an hostile 
manner into Powysland, and having won the castle and 
town of Baldwyn, fortified it in his own right, and called it 
Montgomery after his own name.* King William of Eng- 
land WPS now in Normandy, and busily engaged in a war 
against his brother Robert; and taking advantage of his 
absence, Gruffydh ap Conan, Prince of North Wales, and 
Cadogan ap Blethyn, who now ruled in South Wales, with 
joint force entered into Cardigan, and slew a great number 
of Normans, whose arrogance and excessive cruelty towards 
the Welsh were become intolerable. After taking suffi- 
cient revenge there they returned home, and the Normans 
sent for aid from England; which being arrived, they 
thought to make a private inroad into North Wales, and so 
to be avenged upon the Welsh : but their design being 
discovered to Cadogan, he drew up his forces to meet them, 
and unexpectedly falling upon them in the forest of Yspys, 
after a very warm resistance on the part of the Normans, he 
forced them to retire by flight, and then triumphantly march- 
ing through Cardigan and Dyved, he destroyed all the 
castles and fortifications in the country, excepting those of 
Pembroke and Rydcors, which proved too strong, and, as 
regarded his force, were impregnable. 

The next year, the Normans who inhabited the country of A. D. 1C93. 
Glamorgan invaded and ravaged the countries of Gwyr, 
Kidwely, and Ystrad Tywy, which they harassed in such a 
cruel manner, that they left them bare of inhabitants ; and 
to increase the miseries of the Welsh, King William Rufus, 
being informed of the great slaughter which Gruflfydh ap 
Conan and the sons of Blethyn ap Confyn had lately com- 
mitted upon the English, as well within Cheshire, Shrop- 
shire, Worcestershire, and Herefordshire, as within Wales, 
entered the country at Montgomery, which place the Welsh 
having some time since demolished King William had 
recently rebuilt : but the Welsh kept all the passages thro' 
the woods and rivers, and all other straits, so close, that the 
King could effect nothing considerable against them; and 
therefore when he perceived that his labour was but lost in 
continuing in those parts, he forthwith retreated, and re- 
turned without honour to England. This retreat of King 1094 

* See Camden's Brit- p. 650. Gibson's Edition .Welsh Chron. p. 152. 


William was not altogether so favourable to the interest of 
the Welsh as the death of William Fitz-Baldwyn, who was 
owner of the castle of Rydcors, and who did more injury to 
the men of South Wales than any other person. He being 
dead, the garrison of Rydcors, which was wont to keep the 
Welsh in continual awe, forsook that place, and by that 
means gave opportunity to the inhabitants of Gwyr, Breck- 
nock, Gwent, and Gwentlhwc, to shake off the intolerable 
yoke which the Normans had forced upon them, who, after 
they had robbed them of their lands, kept them in con- 
tinual subjection. William Fitz-Baldwyn being now, how- 
ever, dead, and the garrison of Rydcors scattered, they 
ventured to lay violent hands upon the Normans, who 
thought themselves free from all danger; and they pre- 
vailed so successfully, that they drove them all out of the 
country, and recovered their own ancient estates : but the 
Normans thus ousted liked that country so well, that they 
were resolved not to be so easily deprived of what they had 
with a great deal of pains and danger once possessed ; and 
therefore having drawn a great number of English and 
Normans to their aid, they were anxious to venture another 
encounter with the Welsh, and to return, if possible, to 
their once acquired habitations. The Welsh, however, so 
abhorred their arrogant and tyrannical dominion over them 
when they were masters, that they were resolved not to be 
subject to such tyrants again; and therefore they boldly 
met them at a place called Celly larfawc, and fell upon 
them so manfully, (the very apprehension of servitude in- 
citing their spirits,) that they put them to flight with great 
slaughter, and drove them out of the country. Yet the 
Normans were not absolutely routed in this overthrow : for, 
like a fly in the night, that destroys itself in the candle, 
they must needs seek their own destruction ; and their gree- 
diness urging them on to venture that with few which was 
not practicable by many, they came as far as Brecknock, 
with a vow and determination not to leave one living thing 
remaining in that country: but they fell short of their 
intention, for the people of the country having placed them- 
selves at a narrow strait, expecting their passing through, 
as soon as the Normans came up, fell upon them, and killed 
a great number of them. About the same time, Roger 
Montgomery Earl of Salop and Arundel, William Fitz- 
eustace Earl of Gloucester, Arnold de Harecourt, and 
Neal le Vicount, were slain by the Welsh between Caerdiff 
and Brecknock, and Walter Eureux Earl of Sarum, Rosmer, 
Mantilake, and Hugh Earl of Gourney, were wounded, 



who afterwards died in Normandy.* The Normans, finding 
that they continually lost ground, thought it not advisable 
to stay any longer; and therefore having placed sufficient 
garrisons in those castles which they had formerly built, 
they returned with what speed they could to England. 
Yet all the haste they made could not secure them from the 
fury of the Welsh; for Gruffydh and Ifor, the sons of 
Ednerth ap Cadogan, waylaid them at a place called Aber- 
Ihech, where, falling unexpectedly upon them, they slew the 
greatest part of their number, the remainder narrowly 
escaping in safety to England : but the Norman garrisons 
which were left behind defended themselves with a great 
deal of bravery, till at last, finding no prospect of relief, 
they were forced for their own safety to deliver up the 
fortresses to the Welsh, who from that time became again 
proprietors of those places of which the Normans had 
dispossessed them. This encouraged the Welsh to under- 
take other things against the English; for immediately 
after this, certain of the nobility of North Wales, Uchthred 
the son of Edwyn ap Grono by name, together with Howel 
ap Grono, and the sons of Cadogan ap Blethyn of Powys- 
land, passed by Cardigan into Dyved (which country King 
William had given to Arnulph son to Roger Montgomery, 
who had built thereon the castle of Pembroke, and appointed 
Gerald de Windsor governor of the same,)f and destroying 
all the country with fire and sword, excepting Pembroke 
castle, which was impregnable, they returned home with a 
great deal of booty. In return for this, when the lords of 
North Wales had retired, Gerald issued out of the castle, 
and spoiled all the country about St. David's ; and after he 
had obtained much plunder, and taken divers prisoners, 
returned to the castle. 

The year following, King William returned from Nor- A. D. 1095. 
mandy, and having heard how the Welsh had cut off a 
great number of his subjects in Wales, gathered all his 
power together, and with great pomp and ostentation en- 
tered the marches, resolving utterly to eradicate the rebel- 
lious and implacable disposition of the Welsh nation : but 
after all this boast and seeming resolution, he ventured no 
farther than the marches, and having built there some few 
castles, he returned with no greater honour than he came. 
In the next spring, Hugh de Montgomery Earl of Arundel 1096. 
and Salop, by the Welsh named Hugh G6ch,J and Hugh 

i 2 

* Welsh Chron. p. 154. f Ibid. 

J Hugh with a red head. 


Fras, or the Fat, Earl of Chester, being invited by some 
disaffected Welsh lords, came into North Wales with a very 
great army. Prince Gruffydh ap Conan, and Cadogan ap 
Blethyn, perceiving themselves to be too weak to oppose so 
numerous an army, and, what was worse, suspecting the 
fidelity of their own forces, thought it best to take to the 
hills and mountains for safety, as the places where they 
might remain most secure from the enemy. Then the 
English army marched towards Anglesey, and being come 
opposite the island, they built the castle of Aberlhiennawc : 
but Gruffydh and Cadogan could no longer endure to see 
their country over-run by the English, and therefore they 
descended from the mountains and came to Anglesey, think- 
ing, with what succours they should receive from Ireland, 
(of which they were disappointed,) to be able to defend the 
island from any attempt that should be made upon it : and 
then the whole reason and occasion of the English coming 
to Wales was discovered ; for Owen ap Edwyn, the Prince's 
chief counsellor, whose daughter Gruffydh had married 
(having himself also married Everyth the daughter of 
Confyn, aunt to Cadogan), upon some private pique or 
other, had requested the English to come into Wales, and 
he at this time openly joined his forces with theirs, and led 
the whole army over into Anglesey. Gruffydh and Cadogan 
finding they were thus betrayed by him that they had 
believed to be their dearest friend, for fear of farther 
treachery, judged it prudent to sail privately for Ireland; 
after whose departure the English fell cruelly to work, 
destroying all they could come at, without any respect 
either to age or sex. 

Whilst the English continued in Anglesey, Magnus the 
son of Harold, lately King of England, came over with a 
great fleet, intending to take more secure hold upon that 
kingdom than his father had done, and to recover the same 
to himself: but whilst he steered his course thitherward, he 
was driven by contrary winds to the coast of Anglesey, 
where he would fain have landed had not the English army 
kept him off. In this skirmish Magnus accidentally wound- 
ed Hugh Earl of Salop with an arrow in the face, whereof 
he died;* and then both armies suddenly relinquished the 
A. D. 1097. island, the English returning to England, appointing Owen 


* The Norwegian Prince, on seeing him fall, exultingly cried " Let him dance." 
Giraldus Cambrensis, Itin. 6, 7. Simon Dunelme, p. 223. 

This accidental stroke of justice, seen by the eye of superstition, made the Welsh to 
conclude that the arrow had been directed by the immediate hand of the Almighty. 


ap Edwyn, who invited them over, prince of the country. 
Owen did not enjoy the principality long; for in the 
beginning of the following spring, Gruffydh ap Conan and 
Cadogan ap Blethyn returned -from Ireland, and having 
concluded a peace with the Normans for some part of their 
lands in Wales, Gruffydh remained in Anglesey, and 
Cadogan had Cardigan, with part of Powys : but though 
Cadogan recovered his estate, yet in a little while after he 
lost his son Lhewelyn, who was treacherously murdered by 
the men of Brecknock : at which time also died Rythmarch, 
Archbishop of St. David, the son of Sulien, being in the 
forty-third year of his age ; a man of greater piety, wisdom, 
and learning than had flourished for a long period in Wales, 
excepting his father, under whose tutelage he was edu- 
cated. The year following, King William Rufus, as he 1098. 
was hunting in the New Forest, was accidentally slain with 
an arrow, which one Walter Tyrrel shot at a stag ; and his 
eldest brother being then engaged in the Holy War, Henry, 
his younger brother, whom in his life-time he had nomi- 
nated his successor, was crowned in his stead. The same 
year, Hugh Earl of Chester, Grono ap Cadogan, and Gwyn 
ap Gruffydh, departed this life. 

About two years after, a rebellion broke out in England ; noo. 
Robert de Belesmo, the son of Roger de Montgomery 
Earl of Salop, and Arnulph his brother, Earl of Pembroke, 
took up arms against King Henry ; which he being informed 
of, sent them a very gracious message to come before him 
and declare their grievances, and the reason of their rising 
up in arms against his Majesty : but the Earls, instead of 
appearing in person, sent him slight and frivolous excuses, 
and in the mean while made all necessary preparations for 
the war, both by raising offerees and fortifying their castles 
and strongholds. And to strengthen themselves the more, 
they sent rich presents, and made large promises to lorwerth, 
Cadogan, and Meredith, the sons of Blethyn ap Confyn, to 
bring them to their side. Robert fortified four castles, 
namely, Arundel, Tekinhil, Shrewsbury, and Brugge; 
which last, by reason that Robert built it without the con- 
sent of the king, was the chief occasion of this war ; and 
Arnulph fortified his castle at Pembroke. After this, they 
entered in an hostile manner into the territories of the 
King of England, wasting and destroying all before them ; 
and to augment their strength, Arnulph sent Gerald his 
steward to Murkart King oflreland, desiring his daughter 
in wedlock ; which was readily granted, with the promise 
too of great succours and large supplies. King Henry, to 



put a stop to their bold adventures, marched in person 
against them, and, laying siege to the castle of Arundel, won 
it without any great opposition ; and quickly afterwards the 
pastle of Tekinhill ; but that of Brugge, by reason of the 
situation of the place, and the depth of the ditch about it, 
seemed to require longer time and harder service; and 
therefore King Henry was advised to send privately to 
lorwerth ap Blethyn, promising him great rewards if he 
forsook the Earls' part and came over to him, urging to 
him what mischief Roger, Earl Robert's father, and his 
brother Hugh, had continually done to the Welshmen: 
and to make him the more willing to accept his proposals, 
he promised to give him all such lands as the Earl and his 
brother had in Wales, without either tribute or homage; 
which was a part of Powys, Cardigan, and half Dyved, the 
other part being in the possession of William Fitz-Baldwyn. 
lorwerth receiving these offers, accepted them very gladly, 
and then coming to the king, he sent all his forces to Earl 
Robert's lands, who, having received very strict orders, 
destroyed without mercy every thing they met with ; and 
what made the spoil the greater, Earl Robert, upon his 
rebelling against King Henry, had caused his people to 
convey all their goods to Wales for fear of the English, not 
thinking how his father's memory sounded among the 
Welsh. When the news of lorwerth's revolt reached the 
ears of the Earl, and of Cadogan and Meredith, lorwerth's 
brothers, their spirits began to faint, as despairing any 
longer to oppose the king, since lorwerth, who was the 
person of greatest power in Wales, had left and forsaken 
them. Arnulph was gone to Ireland to fetch home his 
wife, and to bring over what succour his father-in-law, 
King Murkart, could afford to send him ; but he not coming 
in time, some other method was to be tried, in order to 
obtain aid against the English. A little before this rebel- 
lion broke out, Magnus, Harold's son, landed the second 
time in the Isle of Anglesey, and being kindly received by 
GrufFydh ap Conan, he had leave to cut down what timber 
he had need for; and so returning to the Isle of Man, which 
he had got by conquest, he built there three castles, and 
then sent to Ireland to have the daughter of Murkart in 
marriage to his son, which being obtained, he created him 
King of Man. Earl Robert hearing this, sent to Magnus 
for aid against King Henry ; but receiving none, he thought 
it high time to look to his own safety ; and therefore he sent 
to the king, requesting that he might quietly depart the 
kingdom, in case he should lay down his arms, which the 



king having granted, he sailed to Normandy: and then 
King Henry sent an express to his brother Arnulph, re- 
quiring him either to follow his brother out of the kingdom 
or to deliver himself up to his mercy ; and so Arnulph went 
over also to Normandy. When the king was returned to 
London, lorwerth took his brother Meredith prisoner, and 
committed him to the king's custody; his other brother 
Cadogan having reconciled himself beforehand, to whom 
lorwerth gave Cardigan, with a part of Powys. Then 
lorwerth went to London, to put the king in mind of his 
promise, and the service he had done him against Earl 
Robert; but the king finding that now all matters were 
quiet, was deaf to all such remembrances, and instead of 
promising what he had once voluntarily proposed, he, con- 
trary to all rules of equity and gratitude, took away Dyfed 
from lorwerth, and gave it to a knight of his own called 
Saer ; and Straty wy, Cydwely, and Gwyr, he bestowed upon 
Howel ap Grono, and sent lorwerth away more empty than 
he came : nor was this sufficient reward for his former serv- 
ices, for the next year King Henry sent some of his council A. D. 1101. 
to Shrewsbury, and cited lorwerth to appear there, under 
pretence of consulting about the king's business and affairs 
of those parts; but the plot was laid deeper, and when, 
without any suspicion of treachery, he made his appearance, 
he was, to his great surprise, attainted of high treason, and, 
contrary to all right and justice, actually condemned to 
perpetual imprisonment ;* the true reason of this unparaL 
leled severity being, that the king feared his strength, and 
was apprehensive that he would revenge the wrong and 
affront he had received at his hands : and indeed well had 
he reason to fear that, when he so ungratefully treated him 
by whose service he had experienced such great advantages. 
But the policy of princes is unaccountable ; and whether to 
value an eminent person for his service, or to fear him for 
his greatness, is a subject that frequently disturbs their 
most settled considerations. The noblemen that were at 
this time sent by the king to Shrewsbury, were Richard de 
Belmersh,f who being a chief agent of Roger Montgomery 
Earl of Salop, was preferred to the bishoprick of London, 
and afterwards appointed by that king to be warden of the 
marches, and governor of the county of Salop. With him 
were joined in company, Walter Constable, the father of 
Milo, Earl of Hereford, and Rayner, the king's lieutenant 
in the county of Salop. About this time, as Bale writes, 
the church of Menevia or St. David began to be subject to 

* Welsh Chron. 159, 160. f Richard de Belmarsh. 


the see of Canterbury, being always previously the metro- 
politan church of all Wales. 

A. D. 1102. Shortly after this, Owen ap Edwyn, who had been author 
of no small mischief and disturbance to the Welsh in 
moving the English against his natural prince and son-in- 
law Gruffydh ap Conan, departed this life, after a tedious 
and miserable sickness ; of which he was so much the less 
pitied by how much he had proved an enemy and a traitor 
to his native country. Edwyn was the son of Grono by his 
wife Edelflede, the widow of Edmund, surnamed Ironside, 
King of England ; and had the title of Tegengl ; though 
the English, when they had compelled Gruffydh ap Conan 
to flee to Ireland for safety, constituted him Prince of all 
North Wales. After his death, Richard Fitz-Baldwyn laid 
siege to and took the castle of Rydcors, and forcibly drove 
Howel ap Grono, to whom King Henry had committed the 
custody of it, out of the country. But Howel quickly re- 
turned, and, with a high spirit of revenge, began to destroy 
and burn whatsoever he could meet with, and then meeting 
a party of the Normans in their return homeward, he fell 
upon the flank of them with a very considerable slaughter ; 
and so brought all the country to his subjection, excepting 
some few garrisons and castles which would not surrender 
to him. At the same time King Henry took away from 
Saer the government of Dyfed, which formerly was lorwerth 
ap Blethyn's, and bestowed it upon Gerald, who had been 
some time Earl Arnulph's steward in those parts; and 
therefore, by reason of his knowledge of the country, was in 
all probability best able to take upon himself the manage- 
ment of it: but the Normans in Rydcors castle being 
sensible that they were not able to effect any thing against 
Howel ap Grono in open field, after their accustomed man- 
ner, began to put that in execution by treachery which they 
could not compass by force of arms ; and that they might 
make Howel a sacrifice for those Normans he had lately 
slain, they could find no safer way than by corrupting one 
Gwgan ap Meyric, a man in great favour and esteem with 
Howel, upon the account chiefly that one of his children 
was nursed by Gwgan's wife. This ungrateful villain, to 
carry on his wicked intrigue the' more unsuspected, gave 
Howel a very earnest invitation to his house to a merriment, 
where, without any suspicion of treachery, being come, he 
was welcomed with all the seeming affection and kindness 
imaginable: but no sooner was he arrived, than Gwgan 
gave notice thereof to the Norman garrisons ; and by break 
pf day they entered the town, and coming about the house 



where Howel lay in bed, they presently gave a great shout. 
Howel hearing the noise, suspected something of mischief, 
and therefore leaping in all haste out of bed, he made to his 
weapons, but could not find them, by reason that Gwgan 
had conveyed them away whilst he was asleep; and 'now 
being assured of treachery in the case, and finding that his 
men had fled for their lives, he endeavoured all he could to 
make his escape, but Gwgan and his company were too 
quick for him, and so being secured they strangled him, 
and delivered his body to the Normans, who having cut off 
his head conveyed it to the castle of Rydcors. This most 
villainous murder, so barbarously committed upon the king's 
lieutenant, was not in the least taken notice of; for King 
Henry was so unreasonably prejudiced in favour of the 
Normans, that whatever misdemeanor, be it of never so 
high a nature, was by them committed, it was presently 
winked at and let pass without notice; whereas, if the 
Welsh trespassed but against the least injunction of the 
king's laws, they were most severely punished, which was 
the cause that they afterwards stood up against the king in 
their own defence, being by experience assured that he 
intended, if possible, their utter destruction. 

About this time Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, con- 
vened a synod at London, wherein, among other injunctions 
then decreed, the celibacy of the clergy was enjoined ; mar- 
riage being at all times previously allowed in Britain to 
those in holy orders. This new injunction created a great 
deal of heat and animosity among the clergy, some approving 
of it as reasonable and orthodox, others condemning it as 
an innovation and contrary to the plain letter of scripture. 
During these disputes between the clergy, King Henry, 
being now in the fifth year of his reign, sailed over with a 
great army into Normandy, where his brother Robert, to- 
gether with Robert de Belesmo, Arnulph, and William 
Earl of Mortaign, gave him battle ; but the king having 
obtained the victory, took the duke his brother, with 
William of Mortaign, prisoners, and carrying them into 
England, he caused first his brother Robert's eyes to be 
plucked out, and then condemned them both to perpetual 
imprisonment in the castle of CardyfF. About the same A, D. 1104. 
time, Meyric and GrufFydh, the sons of Trahaern ap 
Caradoc, were both slain by the means of Owen ap Cadogan 
ap Blethyn, whose uncle Meredith ap Blethyn, who had 
been prisoner for a long time in England, now broke open 
the prison, wherein he was very narrowly confined, and 
returning to his own country, had his estate restored, which 
afterwards he quietly enjoyed. 



A. D.l 105. The next year a very dismal and calamitous accident 
happening in the Low Countries, proved very incommodious 
and prejudicial to the Welsh ; for a great part of Flanders 
being drowned by the overflowing of the sea, the inhabit- 
ants were compelled to seek for some other country to 
dwell in, their own being now covered with water; and 
therefore a great many being come over to England, they 
requested King Henry to assign them some part of his 
kingdom which was waste and void of inhabitants, where 
they might settle and plant themselves. The king taking 
advantage of this charitable opportunity, and being in a 
manner assured that these Flemings would be a considerable 
thorn in the side of the Welsh, bestowed upon them very 
liberally what was not justly in his power to give, and 
appointed them the country of Rhos, in Dyfed or West 
Wales, where they continue to this day: but Gerald, the 
king's lieutenant in those parts, was resolved to be afore- 
hand with them, and rebuilt the castle of Pembroke, in a 
place called Congarth Fechan; whither he removed his 
1106. family and all his goods. Here a very unfortunate accident 
happened to him ; for Cadwgan ap Blethyn having prepared 
a sumptuous feast in the Christmas, invited all the lords to 
his country house in Dyfed, and among the rest his son 
Owen, who lived in Powys. This youug gentleman being 
at his father's house, and hearing Nest the wife of Gerald 
universally praised for her incomparable beauty, was so 
smitten with the rumour that went abroad of her, that by all 
means he must see the lady who was by all so much ad- 
mired:* and forasmuch as Gwladys, wife to Rhys ap 
Theodore, and mother to Nest, was the daughter of Ry wal- 
hon ap Confyn, cousin-german to Cadwgan his father, 
under pretence of friendship and relation he made bold 
to pay her a visit. Finding the truth far to surpass the 
fame that went of her, he returned home so inflamed with 
her charms, that, not being able to keep the mastery over 
himself, he went back again the same night, and being at- 
tended by a company of wild, head -strong youths, they 
privily entered the castle, and encompassing the chamber 
where Gerald and his wife lay, they set the house on fire. 
Gerald hearing a noise, would fain go out to know the 
meaning of such unseasonable disturbance; but his wife, 


* Nest was the sister of Gruffydh ap Rhys, had been the mistress of Henry the First, 
and brought him his son, Robert of Gloucester, who was very eminent as a soldier, a 
statesman, and scholar. He was the instrument of restoring his nephew, Henry, to the 
throne of England, although that event took place after Gloucester's death. Geoffrey 
of Monmouth dedicates to him his latin translation of Tysilio. Robert was a friend 
of learning and learned men in that early age of English literature : William of Malmes- 
bury, the poet and historian, was patronised by him. 


fearing some treachery, persuaded him to make as private 
an escape as he could, and then, pulling up a board in the 
privy, let him go that way ; then returning to her chamber, 
she assured those audacious youths that there was no body 
besides herself and children there; but this not being 
satisfactory, they forcibly broke in, and having searched 
every the most private corner and not finding Gerald, they 
took his wife and two sons, with a son and a daughter born 
by a concubine, and carried them away to Powys, having 
first set fire to the castle, and destroyed the country as they 
went along. Cadwgan, Owen's father, hearing of the out- 
rageous crime his son had committed, was exceedingly 
concerned and sorry, and chiefly because hereby he was 
likely to incur King Henry's great displeasure ; and there- 
fore he went with all speed to Powys, and intreated his son 
to send home to Gerald his wife and children, with what- 
ever else he had taken away from him : but Owen was so 
amorously inexorable with respect to the woman, that he 
would by no means part with her; however, upon her 
request, he was willing to restore Gerald his children again, 
which forthwith he performed.* When Richard, Bishop of 
London, whom King Henry had constituted Warden of 
the Marches, and who was now at Shrewsbury, heard of 
this, he sent for Ithel and Madoc, the sons of Ryryd ap 
Blethyn, persons of great power and interest in Wales, 
promising them very considerable rewards, besides the 
government of the whole country, in case they could bring 
Owen and his father Cadwgan, either dead or alive, to him, 
that he might revenge that heinous affront which they had 
done to the King of England. With them he joined Lhy- 
warch the son of Trahaern ap Caradoc, whose two brethren 
Owen had slain, and Uchtryd, the son of Edwyn ; which 
four undertook to answer effectually the bishop's proposal 
to them : but when they had united their forces, and began 
in an hostile manner to destroy the country as they passed 
along, Uchtryd sent private notice before him, requiring all 
who were any way desirous of their own safety to come to 
him, because no quarter was to be given to any that were 
found in the country. The people being thus so oppor- 
tunely forewarned, began to bethink with themselves how 
they might best avoid so imminent a danger, and thereupon 
some fled to Arustly, others to Melienyth, some to Strad- 
tywy, and some to Dyfed ; but in this latter place they met 
with cold welcome, for Gerald, who was then very busy in 
exercising revenge upon that country, falling in among them, 
put off a considerable number of them. The like fate 


* Welsh Chron. p. 164, 


befel those who escaped to Arustly and Melienyth; for 
Walter Bishop of Hereford having raised an army in defence 
of the town of Caermyrdhyn, before he could come thither, 
accidentally met with these straggling fugitives, and know- 
ing to what country they belonged, without any further 
ceremony, he fell upon them and put most of them to the 
sword. They who fled to Stradtywy were kindly received 
by Meredith ap Rytherch ; and such as resorted to Uchtryd 
were as kindly entertained by him; and so he marched 
with the rest of his confederates to Rydcors castle, it being 
the general opinion that it was best to enter the country 
by night, and to take Cadwgan and Owen his son by 
surprise : but Uchtryd reflecting upon the difficulty of the 
country, and how easily they might be entrapped by an 
ambuscade, dissuaded them from any such nocturnal under- 
takings, and told them that it was far more advisable to 
enter the country in good order, when the light gave the 
soldiers opportunity to keep and observe their ranks. 
Whilst they were thus considering of the most effectual 
way to carry on their purpose, Owen got a ship at Aber- 
dyfi, bound for Ireland, and escaping thither, avoided the 
narrow search that was the following day made for them. 
When, therefore, father nor son could be found, all the 
fault was laid upon Uchtryd, who had dissuaded them from 
falling upon the castle unexpectedly; and, therefore, all 
that his companions could do, since their escape, was to 
burn and destroy the country, which they did effectually, 
excepting the two sanctuaries of Lhanpadarn and Lhandewi 
Brefi ; out of which, however, they took several persons 
who had escaped thither, and carried them away prisoners 
to their several countries : but Owen, with those who were 
accessary to the burning of Rydcors castle, being fled to 
Ireland, desired the favour and protection of King Murcart, 
who received him very gladly, upon the account of their 
former acquaintance ; for Owen, during the war betwixt the 
Earls of Arundel and Chester and the Welsh, had fled to 
King Murcart, and brought him very rich presents from 
Wales. Cadwgan all this while lay privately in Powys; 
but thinking it impossible to continue there long undis- 
covered, he adjudged it his wiser way to send to King 
Henry, and to declare his innocency and abhorrence of the 
crime which his son had committed. The King was easily 
persuaded that the old man was guiltless and wholly inno- 
cent of his son's offence ; and therefore he gave him permis- 
sion to remain in the country, and to enjoy the town and 
lands he received by his wife, who was the daughter of a 



Norman lord, called Pygot de Say : but his lands in Powys 
were otherwise distributed; for his nephews, Madoc and 
Ithel, finding what circumstances their uncle Cadwgan lay 
under upon the account of his son Owen, divided betwixt 
themselves such lands as he and his son possessed in Powys, 
though afterwards they could never agree about the equal dis- 
tribution of them. To counterbalance this, Cadwgan made 
such successful application to the King of England, that, 
upon paying the fine of 100, he had a grant of all his lands 
in Cardigan, and a power to recall all the inhabitants who 
had fled away upon the publication of the king's late order, 
that no Welshman or Norman should dwell in Cardigan. 
Upon information of this grant to Cadwgan, several of them 
that retired to Ireland returned again privately to Wales, 
and lurkingly remained with their friends ; but Owen durst 
not appear in Cardigan, by reason that his father had 
received that country from King Henry, upon condition 
that he would never entertain nor receive his son, nor by 
any means succour him either with men or money. Never- 
theless, Owen came to Powys, and would fain be reconciled 
to the king, and make an atonement for his late misde- 
meanor, but he could find nobody that would venture to 
speak in his behalf, nor make the king acquainted with his 
desire and willingness to submit : and thus being hopeless 
and full of despair, he could not possibly divine which way 
to turn himself, till at last a very unexpected opportunity 
offered him means and occasion to oppose the English. 
The matter was this, there happened a difference betwixt 
Madoc ap Ryryd* and the Bishop of London, Lieutenant of 
the Marches of Wales, about certain English felons whom 
(being under the protection of Madoc) he would not restore 
at the bishop's request. The bishop being much offended 
at Madoc's denial, threatened him very severely; and 
therefore to make all possible preparations against an 
ensuing storm, Madoc sent to Owen, who heretofore was 
his greatest enemy, desiring his help against the bishop ; 
and by this means being reconciled, they took their mutual 
oaths not to betray each other, and that neither should make 
a separate agreement with the English without the know- 
ledge and approbation of the other; and so uniting their 
power, they spoiled and ravaged all the country about them, 
destroying whatever they could meet with which belonged 
to those they had no kindness or affection for, without the 
least distinction of English or Welsh. 

lorwerth ap Blethyn had been very unjustly detained in A. D. 1107. 

* Ap Bleddyn ap Cyuvyn. 


prison all this time ; and now King Henry calling to mind 
what hardship he laboured under, and that he committed 
him to custody without any reasonable pretence, sent to 
know of him what he was willing to pay for his liberty, 
lorwerth being now almost ready to sink under the fatigue 
of such a long imprisonment, was glad to give any thing he 
was able to obtain that which he had so long in vain hoped 
for ; and therefore he promised either 300 in specie, or to 
the value of it in cattle and horses, for the payment of 
which lorwerth and Ithel, the sons of his brother Ryryd, 
were delivered for pledges.* Then the king released him 
out of prison, and restored him all his lands which were 
taken from him ; and of the due for his liberty, the king 
bestowed 10 upon Henry, Cadwgan's son by the daughter 
of Pygot de Say, the Norman. Owen and Madawc all this 
while committed all the waste and destruction possible, and 
cruelly annoyed both the English and Normans, and always 
withdrew and retired to lorwerth's estate, which so troubled 
him, by reason of the king's strict orders not to permit 
Owen to come to his or Cadwgan's territories, that at length 
he sent to them this positive and peremptory rebuke : 
f ' Since it hath pleased God to place us in the midst of our 
enemies, and to deliver us into their hands ; and hath so 
far weakened us, as that we are not able to do any thing of 
our own strength; and your father Cadwgan and myself 
are particularly commanded, under penalty of forfeiting 
our lands and estates, not to afford you any succour or 
refuge during these your rebellious practices ; therefore, as 
a friend I entreat you, command you as a lord, and desire 
you as a kinsman, that you come no more to mine or your 
father Cadwgan's territories." 

Owen and Madawc receiving such a peremptory message, 
were the more enraged, and by way of malignant retribution, 
did more frequently than heretofore shelter themselves in 
lorwerth's country ; insomuch, that at last, since that they 
would neither by threats nor intreaties desist from their 
wonted courses, he was forced to gather his power and 
drive them out by force of arms. Being chased out hence, 
they made inroads into Uchtryd's country in Merioneth- 
shire ; but Uchtryd's sons being then in Cyveilioc, and 
hearing of it, they sent to the people of the country, with 
positive orders to oppose and resist any offer they might 
make to enter the country. The people, though wanting a 
skilful commander, were resolved to do as much as lay in 
their power ; and so meeting with them by the way, they 


* Welsh Chron. pp. 165, 166,. 107, 168. 


set upon them so furiously, that Owen and Madawc, after a 
brave defence, were forced to retreat and take to their 
heels; Owen fled to Cardigan to his father Cadwgan, and 
Madawc to Powys. Yet all these misfortunes could not 
suppress the restless spirit of Owen; for as soon as he 
could rally together his scattered troops, he made divers 
inroads into Dyfed, and carrying away several persons to 
the ships that he had brought with him from Ireland, he 
first took a ransom of them, and then listing them under 
his own command, made such addition to his army, that he 
ventured to set upon a town in Dyfed, belonging to the 
Flemings, and having rased it to the ground, he returned to 
Cardigan, having no regard as to what inconvenience might 
befal his father from the king of England upon this account, 
which a little afterwards fell out : for it happened that some 
of Owen's men having had intelligence, that a certain bishop 
called William de Brabant was upon his journey through 
that country to the court of England, they laid wait for his 
coming, who, without any apprehension of treachery, passing 
through the country, was unexpectedly slain, he and all his 
retinue.* lorwerth and Cadwgan were then at court to 
speak with King Henry concerning certain business of their 
own :f but whilst they discoursed with the king, in came a 
Fleming, who was a brother to the deceased bishop, and 
with a very loud exclamation, complained how that Owen, 
Cadwgan's son, had slain his brother and the rest of his 
company; and that he was succoured and entertained in 
Cadwgan's country. King Henry hearing this, was wrath- 
fully displeased at such outrageous barbarity, and that a 
person of such quality and profession should be so treacher- 
ously murdered ; and therefore he asked Cadwgan what he 
could say to the matter, who answered, that what had so 
unhappily fell out was done without the least knowledge or 
approbation on his part, and therefore desired his Majesty 
to impute all the blame and guilt of that unfortunate trans- 
action to his son Owen. King Henry was so far from being 
satisfied with this reply, that he told Cadwgan in a violent 
passion, that since he could not prevent his son being aided 
and entertained in his country, he would bestow it upon 
another person, who was better able and more willing to 
keep him out; and would allow him a maintenance upon 
his own proper charges, upon these conditions, that he 
should not enter Wales any more without his further orders ; 
and so granting him twenty days for the ordering his affairs, 
he gave him liberty to retire to any part of his dominions 

* Welsh Chron. pp. 166, 167, 168. t IbicL 


except Wales. When Owen and Madawc were informed 
how Cadwgan was treated by the king of England, and that 
Cardigan, which was their chief place of refuge, was to 
be given to another person, they thought that their condi- 
tion by this time was desperate, and that they had better 
not stay any longer in Britain; and therefore with all 
speed they took shipping for Ireland, where they were sure 
to be honourably entertained by King Murkart. Then 
King Henry sent for Gilbert Strongbow Earl of Strygill, a 
person of noted worth and valour, and one who had often 
sued to the king to grant him some lands in Wales, and 
bestowed upon him all the lands and inheritance of Cadwgan 
ap Blethyn, in case he could conquer and bring the country 
under. Gilbert very thankfully accepted the proposal, and 
having drawn together all the forces he was able to raise, 
he passed to Wales, and being come to Cardigan without 
the least trouble or opposition, he reduced the whole coun- 
try to his subjection. The first thing he did was the best 
he could to secure himself in this new purchased inherit- 
ance ; in order to which he erected two castles, one upon 
the frontiers of North Wales, upon the mouth of the river 
Ystwyth, a mile distant from Llanbadarn; the other to- 
wards Dyfed, upon the river Teifi, at a place called 
Dyngeraint, where, as some think, Roger Montgomery had 
some time before laid the foundation of Cilgarran castle.* 

Owen and Madawc were all this while in Ireland ; but 
the latter being at length tired of the country, and not 
willing to endure the manners and customs of the Irish, 
came over to Wales, and passed to the country of his uncle 
lorwerth. lorwerth being acquainted with his arrival, was 
fearful lest he should suffer the same fate as his brother 
Cadwgan, if he permitted his being there ; and, therefore, 
without any regard to relation or consanguinity, he pre- 
sently issued a proclamation, forbidding any of his subjects, 
under a great penalty, to receive him, but that they should 
account him an open enemy to their country, and endeavour 
all they could to secure Madawc and to bring him prisoner 
before him. When Madawc understood this, and that his 
person was in continual danger whilst he remained there, 
having drawn to him all the outlaws and villains in the 
country, he kept in the rocks and mountains, devising all 
the ways and means he could to be revenged upon lorwerth ; 
and so made a private league and agreement with Lhywarch 
ap Trahaern, who for a long time had been a mortal enemy 
of lorwerth. These two associates, having intelligence 


* Welsh Chron. p. 169. 


that lorwerth lay one night at Caereineon,* gathered all 
their strength, and came and encompassed the house at 
midnight, which when lorwerth's servants perceived, they 
arose and defended the house with all the might they 
could ; but the assailants at last putting the house on fire, 
they were glad, as many as could, to escape through the 
flames, the greatest part being forced to yield, either to the 
enemy's sword or the more conquering fire. lorwerth seeing 
no remedy, but that he must undergo the same fate as his 
men had done, chose rather to die in the presence of his 
enemies with his sword in his hand, than cowardly to com- 
mit his life to the flames ; and therefore rushing out with 
great violence, he was received upon the points of the 
enemies' spears, and being by them tossed into the flames, 
he miserably perished by a double death. As soon as King 
Henry heard of his death, he sent for Cadwgan to him, and 
gave him all his brother's estate, being Powys-land; and 
promising his son Owen his pardon, upon condition that he 
would demean himself quiety and loyally hereafter, willed 
him to send for him back from Ireland, f King Henry also 
about this time married his natural son Robert to Mabil, 
daughter and sole heir to Robert Fitz-hamon, Lord of Gla- 
morgan, in whose right this Robert became Lord of Glamor- 
gan, being before by the king created Earl of Gloucester, 
by whom the castle of Cardiff was built. 

But Madawc finding the matter nothing mended, and that 
his other uncle Cadwgan, who lay under the same obliga- 
tion to the King of England, ruled the country, hid himself 
in the most private and inaccessible places, watching only an 
opportunity to commit the like crime upon Cadwgan, and 
to murder him by one treacherous way or another. And 
this he effected in a little time ; for Cadwgan having reduced 
the country to some sort of settlement and quietness, and 
restored the courts of judicature, where he sat in person to 
administer justice, came with the rest of the elders of the 
country to Trallwng, now Pool,J and having begun to A. D. 1109. 
build a castle, he thought to make that the constant seat 
of his habitation. Madawc understanding his design, laid 
in ambush for him in his way to Trallwng, and as Cadwgan 
unconcernedly passed by without the least suspicion of 
treachery, he suddenly set upon him, and slew him, without 


* Castle Caereinion. f Welsh Chron. 170, 171. 

I Welsh Pool, in Montgomeryshire. 


allowing him any time either to fight or escape.* Then he 
sent presently a message to Shrewsbury, to the Bishop of 
London, the king's lieutenant in the marches, to put him in 
mind of his former promises to him, when he chased Owen 
out of the country ; because that the bishop, bearing an 
inveterate enmity towards Cadwgan and his son Owen, 
granted Madawc such lands as his brother Ithel was pos- 
sessed of. But Meredith ap Blethyn, being informed of the 
death of both his brothers, went in all haste to the king, 
desiring of him the lands of lorwerth in Powys, which he 
had lately bestowed upon Cadwgan; which the king 
granted him, until such time as Owen should return from 
Ireland. Owen was not long before he came over, and then 
going to King Henry, he was honourably received, and had 
all his father's estate restored to him ; whereupon, in grati- 
tude for this signal favour, he voluntarily promised to pay 
the king a considerable fine,f for the due payment of which 
he gave very responsible pledges. Madawc, finding himself 
left alone in the lurch, and that he had no seeming power to 
bear head against the king, thought it also his wisest way to 
make what reconciliation he could ; and therefore he offered 
the king a very great fine if he should peaceably enjoy his 
former estate, promising withal never to molest or disturb 
any one that was subject to the crown of England. King 
Henry, willing to bring all matters to a settled condition, 
readily granted his request, and conferred upon him all he 
could reasonably ask for ; only with this proviso, that, upon 
his peril, he should provide for the relations of those whom 
he had so basely murdered. 

A. D. 1109. And thus all matters being brought to a peaceable con- 
clusion in Wales, the next year Robert de Belesmo, who 
had been one of the chief instruments in these Welsh 
disturbances, in that great rebellion which himself, with 
Roger de Montgomery Earl of Salop, and his brother, 
Arnulph Earl of Pembroke, had raised against the king, 
was taken prisoner by King Henry in Normandy, and 
committed to perpetual imprisonment in Warham Castle. 
1110. The year following, Meredith ap Blethyn detached a consi- 
derable party of his men to make incursions into the country 
of Lhy warch ap Trahaern ap Gwyn, who was an inveterate 
enemy of himself and Owen ; because by his aid and insti- 
gation Madawc was encouraged to kill his uncles lorwerth 


* Thus died, after a variety of misfortunes, Cadwgan, the son of Bleddyn ap Cynvyn, 
dignified by Camden with the title of the renowned Briton ; a prince whose valour, sense 
of justice, and other milder virtues, might, in any age but this, have exempted him from 
?v death so cruel and so unworthy of his character. 

f Welsh Chron. p. 170,171. 


and Cadwgan. These men, as they passed through Ma- 
dawc's country, met a person in the night-time who belonged 
to Madawc, who being asked where his master was, after 
some pretence of ignorance, at last through fear confessed 
that he was not far from that place ; therefore, lying quietly 
there all night, by break of day they arose to look out their 
game ; and unexpectedly surprising Madawc, they slew a 
great number of his men, and took himself prisoner ; and so 
carrying him to their Lord, they delivered him up, as the 
greatest honour of their expedition. Meredith was not a 
little proud of his prisoner, and therefore, to ingratiate 
himself the more with his nephew Owen, he committed 
him to safe custody, till he was sent for ; who coming 
thither immediately, Meredith delivered Madawc up to 
him. Owen, though he had the greatest reason for the 
most cruel revenge, because both his father and uncle were 
basely murdered by this Madawc, would not put him to 
death, remembering the intimate friendship and oaths which 
had passed betwixt them ; but to prevent him from doing 
any future mischief, he pulled out his eyes, and then set him 
at liberty.* Lest, however, he should be capable of any 
revenge by reason of his estate and strength in the country, 
Meredith and Owen thought fit to divide his lands betwixt 
them; which were Carnarvon, Aber-rhiw, with the third 
part of Deuthwfyr. 

These home-bred disturbances being pretty well abated, A.D. nil. 
a greater storm arose from abroad ; for the next year King 
Henry prepared a mighty army to enter into Wales, being 
provoked thereto by the request of those who enjoyed a 

treat part of the Welshmen's lands, but would not be satis- 
ed till they got all. For Gilbert Strongbow, Earl of 
Strygill, upon whom the king had bestowed Cardigan, 
made great complaints of Owen ap Cadwgan, declaring that 
he received and entertained such persons as spoiled and 
robbed in his country, and Hugh Earl of Chester made the 
like of Gruflfydh ap Conan, Prince of North Wales, that his 
subjects and the men of Grono ap Owen ap Edwyn, Lord 
of Tegengl, unreproved, wasted and burnt the country of 
Cheshire ; and to aggravate the matter, he added further, 
that Gruffydh neither did any service, nor paid any tribute 
to the king. Upon these complaints, King Henry was so 
much enraged that he swore he would not leave one living 
creature remaining in North Wales and Powys-land, but 
that he would utterly extirpate the present race of people, 

K 2 and 

* Welsh Chron. 172. Incidents like these, arising from the collision of contending 
parties, present, in sanguinary tints, a lively picture of barbarism. 


and would plant a colony of new inhabitants. Then, divid- 
ing his army into three parts, he delivered one to the conduct 
of the Earl of Strygill, to go against South Wales, which 
comprehended the whole power of the fourth part of Eng- 
land and Cornwall ; the next division was designed against 
North Wales, in which was all the strength of Scotland and 
the North, and was commanded by Alexander King of the 
Scots and Hugh Earl of Chester ; the third the king led 
himself against Powys, and in this was contained the whole 
strength of the middle part of England. Meredith ap 
Blethyn hearing of these mighty preparations, and being 
informed that this vast army was designed against Wales, 
was apprehensive that the Welsh were not able to make any 
great defence, and therefore thought it his safest way to 
provide for himself beforehand, and so coming to the king, 
yielded himself up to his mercy. But Owen, fearing to 
commit himself to those whom he knew so greedily coveted 
his estate, and whom he was assured were far more desirous 
to dispossess the Welsh of their lands than in any other way 
to punish them for former crimes and miscarriages, fled to 
Gruffydh ap Conan in North Wales. Upon that King 
Henry converted his whole force that way, and came himself 
as far as Murcastelh, and the Scotch king to Pennant 
Bachwy, but the people flying to the mountains carried 
with them all the cattle and provision they had, so that the 
English could not follow them, and as many as attempted to 
come at them were either slain or wounded in the streights. 
Alexander King of the Scots finding that nothing could 
possibly be effected against the Welsh as long as they kept 
to the rocks and mountains, sent to Prince Gruffydh, ad- 
vising him to submit himself to the king, promising him all 
his interest to obtain an honourable peace : but the prince 
was too well acquainted with English promises, and there- 
fore refused his proposals ; and so King Henry, being very 
unwilling to return without doing something in this expe- 
dition, sent to Owen to forsake the prince, who was not 
able to defend himself, but was ready to strike a peace 
with the Scottish king and the Earl of Chester. This 
cunning insinuation, however, did not take effect, for Owen 
was as distrustful of King Henry as Prince GrufFydh, and 
therefore he would hearken to no intreaties to revolt from 
him who had so long afforded him refuge ; till at length his 
uncle Meredith, an old insinuating politician, persuaded 
him, with much ado, not to neglect the king of England's 
proposals, who offered him all his lands without tribute, in 
case he would come to his side ; and Meredith advised him 



instantly to accept of his offer, before Prince Gruffydh made 
a peace with the king, which if it was once done, he would 
be glad upon any score to purchase the king's mercy. 
Owen being prevailed upon by such arguments, came to the 
king, who received him very graciously, and told him, that 
because he believed his promise, he would not only perform 
that, but likewise exalt him above any of his kindred, and 
grant him his lands free from any payment of tribute. 
Prince Gruffydh perceiving that Owen submitted to the 
king, thought it also his wisest way to sue for peace ; and so 
promising the king a great sum of money, a peace was then 
actually agreed upon and confirmed, which the king of Eng- 
land was the more ready to consent to, because he found it 
impossible to do him any hurt whilst he continued encamped 
in that place. Some affirm that the submission, as well of 
Prince Gruffydh as of Owen, was procured by the policy of 
Meredith ap Blethyn and the Earl of Chester; this last 
working with Gruffydh, and assuring him that Owen had 
made his peace with the king before any such thing was in 
agitation, so that the prince yielding somewhat to the earl's 
request, if Owen had gone contrary to the oath which they 
had mutually taken, not to make any peace with the English 
without one another's knowledge, seemed to incline to a 
peace. On the other hand, Meredith going to his nephew 
Owen, affirmed for truth that the prince and the Earl of 
Chester were actually agreed, and the prince was on his 
journey to the king to make his submission. In the mean- 
while Meredith took especial care that all messengers 
betwixt the prince and Owen should be intercepted, and by 
that means Owen submitted himself to the king. 

King Henry having thus completed all his business in 
Wales, called Owen to him, and told him that in case he 
would go over with him to Normandy, and there be faithful 
to him, he would upon his return confirm all his promises 
upon him. Owen accepted the king's offer, and went with 
him to Normandy, where he behaved himself so gallantly, 
that he was made a knight ; and after his return the year 
following, he had all his lands and estate confirmed unto 
him. About the same time Griffri bishop of St. David's A. D. 11 12. 
died, and King Henry appointed to succeed him one Bar- 
nard a Norman, much against the good-will and inclination 
of the Welsh, who before this time were ever used to elect 
their own bishop. This year the rumour of Gruffydh, son 
to Rhys ap Theodore, was spread throughout South Wales, 
who, as the report went, for fear of the king, had been from 
a child brought up in Ireland, and having come over about 



two years before, passed his time privately among his re- 
lations, particularly with Gerald, Steward of Pembroke, his 
brother-in-law. The noise of a new prince being spread 
abroad, it came at last to the ears of the King of England, 
that a certain person had appeared in Wales, who pretended 
to be the son of Rhys ap Theodore, late Prince of South 
Wales, and laid claim to that principality, which was now in 
the king's hands. King Henry being somewhat concerned 
with such a report, and fearing lest this new rival should 
create him some greater trouble, he thought to nip him in 
the bud, and sent down orders to apprehend him : but 
Gruffydh ap Rhys being aware of the traps laid against him, 
sent to Gruffydh ap Gonan, Prince of South Wales, desiring 
his assistance, and that he might have liberty to remain safe 
in his country, which Gruffydh, for his father's account, 
readily granted, and treated him honourably. A little after, 
his brother Howel, who was imprisoned by Arnulph Earl 
of Pembroke in the castle of Montgomery, where he had 
remained for a long time, made his escape and fled to his 
brother, then with Gruffydh ap Conan in North Wales ; 
but King Henry being informed that Gruffydh ap Rhys and 
his brother Howel were entertained by the Prince of North 
Wales, sent very smooth letters to Gruffydh ap Conan, 
desiring to speak with him, who being come, he received 
him with all the tokens of honour and friendship, and 
bestowed upon him very rich presents, as was the Norman 
policy, who usually made very much of those whom they 
designed afterwards to be serviceable to them. After some 
general discourse, King Henry came at length to the main 
point, and promised the prince immense sums if he would 
send Gruffydh ap Rhys or his head to him, which the 
prince, overcome by such fair words and large promises, 
engaged to perform, and so returned joyfully home, big 
with the expectation of his future reward.* Some persons, 
however, who wished better to Gruffydh ap Rhys and his 
brother Howel, suspected the occasion of the king's message, 
and therefore they advised them to withdraw themselves 
privately for some time, till Prince Gruffydh's mind should 
be better understood, and till it should be known whether 
he had made any agreement with the king of England to 
betray them to him. As soon as the prince was returned to 
his palace at Aberffraw, he enquired for Gruffydh ap Rhys, 
and learning in a little time where he was, he sent a troop of 
horse to recall him to his court, but Gruffydh hearing of 
their approach, with all speed made his escape to the 

* Welsh Chron. 176. 


church of Aberdaron, and took sanctuary there.* But the 
Prince was so determined to make his promise good to the 
King of England, that without any respect to the religious 
place Gruffydd ap Rhys had escaped to, he commanded the 
same messengers to return, and to bring him away by force, 
which the clergy of the country unanimously withstood, 
protesting that they would not see the liberties of the church 
in the least infringed. Whilst the clergy and the prince's 
officers were thus at debate, some who had compassion upon 
the young prince, seeing how greedily his life was thirsted 
for, conveyed him out of North Wales to Straty wy in South 
Wales ; and thus being delivered from the treacherous arid 
more dishonourable practices of the Prince of North Wales, 
he was forced for the protection of his own life to bid open 
defiance to the King of England, and thereupon having 
raised all the forces which the shortness of the opportunity 
would permit, he made war upon the Flemings and Nor- 

The next year he laid siege to the castle which stood over A. D. 1113. 
against Arberth, and winning the same, levelled it with the 
ground, and from thence marched to Lhanymdhyfry castle, 
belonging to Richard de Pwns, upon whom the King had 
bestowed Cantref Byehan, but the garrison commanded by 
Meredith ap Rhytherch ap Caradoc so manfully defended it, 
that Gruffydh after killing only some few of the besieged, 
and burning the outworks, was forced to remove with no 
small loss of his own men. Finding this place impregnable, 
he came before Abertawy castle, which was built by Henry 
Beaumont, Earl of Warwick, but this proving too strong to 
be quickly surrendered, after he had burnt some of the out- 
ward buildings, he returned to Stratywy, burning and 
destroying all the country as he went along. His fame 
being now spread abroad throughout .the country, all 
the wild and head-strong youths, and all those persons 
whose fortunes were desperate, resorted unto him from all 
parts, by which means his forces becoming strong and 
numerous, he made inroads into Rhos and Dyfed, spoiling 
and destroying the country before him. The Normans and 
Flemings were greatly enraged with these continual depre- 
dations, but how to remedy this mischief was not easily 
determined; after along consultation, however, they thought 
it the best way to call together such Welsh lords .as were 
friends to the king of England, as Owen ap Rhytherch, and 
Rhytherch ap Theodore, with his sons Meredith and Owen, 


* A privileged place in the present county of Carnarvon. Welsh Chron- 176. 

f Ibid. 


whose mother was Heynyth the daughter of Blethyn ap 
Confyn, and Owen ap Caradoc the son of Gwenlhian, 
another daughter of Blethyn, and Meredith ap Rhytherch. 
These declaring their loyalty and fidelity to King Henry, 
were desired to defend the king's castle of Carmardhyn, and 
that by turns; Owen ap Caradoc the first fortnight, and 
then by succession by Rhytherch ap Theodore and Mere- 
dith ap Rhytherch. Owen undertook the defence of Car- 
mardhyn castle for the time required of him, and Blethyn ap 
Cadifor had committed to him the government of Abercomyn 
or Abercorran castle, which appertained to Robert Court- 
main ; but for all these preparations, Gruffydh ap Rhys had 
a wishful eye upon Carmardhyn, and therefore he sent out 
some spies to learn the strength and condition of the town, 
who bringing him a very flattering account, he marched by 
night, and rushing suddenly into the town, ordered his men 
to make a great shout, thereby to strike a terror into those 
within. Owen ap Caradoc the governor, being surprised by 
such an unexpected uproar, made all possible haste to the 
place where he had heard the shouting, and thinking that 
his men were at his heels, fell in among the enemy; but 
having none to support him, his men being all fled, he was 
after a manful defence cut in pieces ; and so the town being 
taken, Gruffydh burnt every thing to the ground, excepting 
the castle, which was also much defaced ; and then return- 
ing with a great deal of spoil and booty to his usual residence 
Stratywy, his forces were considerably increased by the 
accession of many young men, who came to him from all 
quarters, and thought that fortune so prospered his arms, 
that no body was able to stand before him. After this he 
marched to Gwyr, but William de Londres thinking it im- 
possible to contend with him, forsook the castle with all his 
men in all haste, so that when Gruflfydh was come thither, 
he found a great deal of cattle and spoil, and none to own 
them, and therefore he burnt down the castle, and carried 
away every thing of value in the country. When the Car- 
diganshire men heard how fortunately he succeeded in all 
his attempts, and being extremely fearful lest his next ex- 
pedition should be against them, they sent to him, desiring 
him, as being their near relation and countryman, to take 
upon him the rule and government over them. GrufFydh 
willingly accepted of their offer, and coming thither, w r as 
joyfully received by the chief men in the country, who were 
Cadifor ap Grono, Howel ap Dinerth, and Trahaern ap 
Ithel, which three persons had forsaken Dyfed, by reason 
that it was so much burdened with Normans, Flemings, and 



Englishmen. Nor was Cardigan free from strangers, who 
pretended to rule the country, but the people bearing in 
mind the continual wrong and oppression they received from 
them, imbibed an inveterate hatred to them, and were very 
glad to be delivered from their insolent and imperious 
oppressors: for King Henry, either by force and banish- 
ment of those that stood up for their liberty, or by corrupt- 
ing those that were wavering, had brought all that country 
to his subjection, and bestowed what lands he thought fit 
upon his English or Norman favourites. Notwithstanding 
the strength of the English in this country, Gruffydh was 
not in the least cast down, but boldly coming on to Cardigan 
Iscoed, he laid siege to a fort that Earl Gilbert and the 
Flemings had built at a place called Blaen Forth Gwythan. 
After divers assaults, and the killing of several of the 
besieged, with the loss only of one of his men, Gruffydh 
took the' place, and razing it to the ground, brought all the 
country thereabouts to subjection. This action proved 
very fatal to the English ; for immediately upon this, they 
began to forsake their houses and habitations, thinking it 
dangerous for them to stay any longer in the country ; and 
so the Welsh burnt or otherwise destroyed as far as Pen- 
wedic all the houses of those strangers whom Earl Gilbert 
had brought with him. Then Gruffydh besieged the castle 
of Stradpeithyll, which belonged to Ralph, Earl Gilbert's 
steward, and having made himself master of it, he put all 
the garrison to the sword. Removing from thence, he en- 
camped at Glasgryg, a mile from Lhanbadarn, purposing to 
besiege Aberystwith castle next morning, but for want of 
provision necessary for his army, he deemed it expedient to 
take some cattle which grazed within the limits of the sanc- 
tuary.* Here it may be observed, that not only men 
enjoyed the privilege of these sanctuaries, but also cattle 
and horses, and whatever else lived within the liberties of 
them. The day following, Gruffydh marched in a dis- 
orderly manner towards the castle, not being apprehensive 
of any material opposition, because he was ignorant of the 
number of the garrison ; and encamping upon an opposite 
hill, which was divided from the castle by a river, with a 
bridge over it, he called a council to determine with what 
engines they might with best success play against it, and so 
make a general assault. The Normans observing their dis-r 
order, very cunningly sent out some of their archers to 
skirmish with them, and so by degrees entice them to the 
bridge, where some of the best armed horsemen were ready 

* Wekh Chron. p. 179. 


to issue out upon them. The Welsh not thinking the garri- 
son so strong, approached near the bridge, still skirmishing 
with the Normans, who pretended to give way ; but when 
they came very near, out sallied one on horseback, who 
would fain pass the bridge; but being received upon the 
points of their spears, he began to flag, and as he en- 
deavoured to return, he fell off his horse, and so the Welsh 
pursued him over the bridge. The Englishmen seeing this, 
fled towards the castle, and the Welsh with all speed fol- 
lowed them to the top of the hill ; but whilst they thought 
that the day was their own, a party of horse which lay in 
ambuscade under the hill rose up, and standing betwixt the 
Welsh and the bridge, prevented any succour coming to 
them ; and the Welsh being thus hemmed in betwixt both 
parties, the former recoiling with greater strength, were so 
unmercifully cut off, that scarce one man was left living. 
When the rest of the Welsh army, that staid on the other 
side of the river, saw what number the garrison contained, 
and that they were strong beyond their expectation, they 
presently decamped, and with all speed departed out of the 

When King Henry was informed of all the mischief and 
cruelties that Gruflfydh ap Rhys had committed among his 
subjects in Wales, he sent for Owen ap Cadwgan, desiring 
him and Lhywarch ap Trahaern to use all effectual methods 
to take or kill the arch-rebel Gruffydh, promising to send 
his son Robert immediately with an army to Wales for that 
purpose. Owen being very proud that the king put such 
confidence in him, encouraged his men to be now as in- 
dustrious to merit the king's favour, as they had been 
formerly to deserve his displeasure; and so joining his 
forces with Lhywarch, they both marched to meet Prince 
Robertf at Stratywy, where they supposed Gruffydh ap 
Rhys had hid himself in the woods. When they were come 
to the frontiers of the country, they made a vow, that they 
would let neither man, woman, nor child escape alive ; 
which so affrighted the people of the country, that all made 
what haste they could to save their lives, some by fleeing 
to the woods and mountains, and some by getting into the 
king's castles, from whence they had come but a little 
before. Then Owen and Lhywarch separated with distinct 
parties to scour the woods, which about Stratywy were very 
thick and secluded. Owen having entered with an hundred 
men, discovered the track of men and cattle, and followed 


* Welsh Chron. 180. 
t Earl of Gloucester, the natural son of Henry, by Nest, his late concubine. 


their footsteps so close, that within a little while he overtook 
them ; and having slain a great many of them, and put the 
rest to flight, he carried away all their cattle back to his 

But whilst Owen was busy in searching the woods, 
Gerald, Steward of Pembroke Castle, who with a great 
number of Flemings was upon his march to join the king's 
son, met with them who fled from Owen; who desiring 
help of Gerald, declared how Owen had forcibly drove 
them out, slain a great many of their companions, and spoiled 
them of all their goods. Gerald and his Flemings under- 
standing that Owen was so nigh with such a small number 
of men, thought he had now very convenient opportunity to 
be revenged of him upon the account of his wife; and, 
therefore, to make sure work with him, he pursued him 
close into the woods. Owen being forewarned by his men 
that a great number followed him, and advised to make all 
speed to get away, was deaf to all such counsels, as thinking 
that they of whom his men were so much afraid of, were the 
king's friends, and therefore their integrity need not be 
questioned, since they had all respect to one common cause : 
but he found that a private quarrel is sometimes more 
regarded than the public good ; and, therefore, when 
Gerald was advanced within bowshot, he greeted him with a 
volley of arrows, to shew how great a friend he was ; but 
Owen, though persuaded to flee, was so little terrified at 
such an unwelcome salutation, that, notwithstanding the 
enemy were seven to one, yet he told them, that they were 
but Flemings, and such as always trembled at the hearing 
of his name. Then falling on with a great deal of courage, 
he was at the first onset struck with an arrow into the heart, 
of which wound he presently died ; which when his men 
saw they all fled, and brought word to Lhywarch and the 
rest of their fellows of what had happened ; and so suspect- 
ing the king's army, seeing they could not be trusted in 
their service, they all returned to their respective coun- 

Owen being in this manner unhappily slain, his brethren 
divided his lands betwixt them ; excepting Caereineon, 
which properly belonged to Madawc ap Ryryd ap Blethyn : 
and which he had forcibly taken away from his uncle 
Meredith. His father Cadwgan had several children by 
different women ; and, besides Owen, he had issue Madawc, 
by Gwenlhian, the daughter of Gruflfydh ap Conan; Eineon, 


* Welsh Chron. 182. In this manner," says Warrington, died, suitable to thf 
tenor of his life, this bold and profligate chieftain." 


by Sanna, the daughter of Dyfnwal ; Morgan, by Efelhiw 
or Elhiw, the daughter of Cadifor ap Colhoyn, Lord of 
Dyfed ; Henry and GrufFydh were by the daughter of the 
Lord Pigot, his wedded wife ; Meredith, by Euroron 
Hoodliw ; and Owen, by Inerth, the daughter of Edwyn. 
Some time afterwards, Eineon ap Cadwgan and Gruffydh 
ap Meredith ap Blethyn, besieged the castle of Cymmer, in 
Merionethshire, which was lately built by Uchtryd ap 
Edwyn; for Cadwgan had bestowed upon Uchtryd, his 
cousin-german, Merioneth and Cyfeilioc, upon condition, 
that in all cases he should appear his friend, and his sons 
after him ; contrary to which promise he bore no manner of 
regard to Cadwgan's children after Owen's death ; but to 
strengthen himself the better, he erected this castle of 
Cymmer, which very much displeased many of Cadwgan's 
sons ; and therefore Eineon and GrufFydh, to make Uchtryd 
sensible of his error in despising them, attacked Cymmer 
Castle, and having slain divers of the garrison, the rest 
surrendered themselves ; and so taking the possession of it, 
they divided the country betwixt them: Mowdhwy, Cy- 
feilioc, and half Penlhyn to GrufFydh ap Meredith ; and 
the other half of Penlhyn, with all Merioneth, to Eineon. 

The next year King Henry sailed with a great army into 
Normandy, against the French king, who with the Earl of 
Flanders and others attempted to make William, the son of 
Robert Curthoise, Duke of Normandy ; but at the ap- 
pearance of the King of England, they all dispersed and 
laid aside their intended design. About the same time 
Gilbert Strongbow, Earl of Strygill, to whom King Henry 
had given all Cardigan, departed this life, after being long 
ill of a consumption, much to the joy and satisfaction of the 
Welsh, who were much displeased that they should be 
deprived of their own natural Lord Cadwgan, from whom 
this country was taken, and be forced to serve a stranger, 
whose kindness they had no reason to expect. The year 
A. D. 1115. following, an irreconcileable quarrel happened betwixt 
Howel ap Ithel, Lord of Ros and Ryfonioc, now Denbigh- 
land, and Riryd and Lhywarch the sons of Owen ap 
Edwyn ; and when they could not otherwise agree, they 
broke out into an open war. Thereupon Howel sent to 
Meredith ap Blethyn, and to Eineon and Madawc, 
Cadwgan's sons, who came down from Merioneth with a 
party of four hundred well-disciplined men, and encamped 
in DyfFryn Clwyd. Riryd and Lhywarch, on the other 
hand, desired the assistance of their cousins, the sons of 
Uchtryd ; and both armies meeting in the Vale of Clwyd, 



they attacked each other with much spirit and alacrity, and 
after a tedious and a bloody fight, Lhywarch, Owen ap 
Edwyn's son, was slain, and with him lorwerth, the son of 
Nudh, a noble and a valorous person; and Riryd was 
forced to make his escape by flight : but though Howel 
obtained the victory, yet he did not long survive his fallen 
enemies; for having received a desperate wound in the 
action, he died of it within forty days ; and then Meredith 
ap Blethyn, and the sons of Cadwgan, finding it dangerous 
to stay longer there, for fear of some French, who lay gar- 
risoned in Chester, returned home with all speed. 

King Henry was still in Normandy; and about this A. D. 1116. 
time, a very great battle was fought betwixt him and the 
French king, who was completely vanquished and over- 
thrown, and had a great number of his nobles taken 
prisoners : but as King Henry returned the following 1117t 
year for England, one of the ships happened, by the 
negligence of the pilot, to be cast away, wherein perished 
the king's two sons, William, who was legitimate and heir 
apparent to the crown, and Richard, his base son, together 
with his daughter and niece, and several others of his 
nobility, to the number in all of one hundred and fifty 
persons. This unparalleled loss of so many kindred and 
friends did not perplex his mind so long, but that within a 
short time, he began to solace and raise his drooping 
spirits with the thoughts of a new wife ; and, having mar- 
ried Adelice, the daughter of the Duke of Lovain, he ills. 
purposed to go against Wales ; and having prepared his 
forces, he led them in person to Powys-land. 

When Meredith ap Blethyn, and Eineon, Madawc, and 
Morgan, the sons of Cadwgan, and lords of the country, 
heard of it, they sent to Gruffydh ap Conan, Prince of 
North Wales, desiring some help at his hands ; who flatly 
refused, assuring them, that because he was at peace with 
the King of England, he could neither with honour nor 
safety send them any succour, nor permit them to come 
within his dominions. The lords of Powys receiving this 
unwelcome answer, and having no hope of any aid, were 
resolved to defend themselves as well as they could ; and, 
therefore, they thought the most effectual means to annoy 
the enemy, and to keep them from entering into the country, 
was to watch and defend the straits by which the enemy 
must of necessity pass. Nor were they wrong in their 
policy ; for it happened that the king himself, with a small 
number, advanced to one of these narrow passages, the rest 
of the army, by reason of their carriages having taken some 



compass about ; which the Welsh perceiving, presently 
poured a shower of arrows upon them, and the advantage of 
the ground giving help to their execution, they slew and 
wounded a great many of the English. The king himself 
was struck in the breast, but the arrow did not hurt him, by 
reason of his armour,* yet he was so terrified with this un- 
expected conflict, and considering with himself, that he 
must receive several such brushes before he could advance 
to the plain country : and what was above all, being sensible 
that by such a rash misfortune he might lose all the honour 
and fame which he had before obtained, sent a message to 
parley with them who kept the passage, and with all as- 
surance of safety, to desire them to come to the king. The 
Welsh being come, and questioned how they had such 
confidence to oppose the king, and to put his life in so 
much danger, made answer, that they belonged to Meredith 
ap Blethyn, and according to their master's orders they 
were resolved to keep the passage, or to die upon the spot. 
The king finding them so resolute, desired them to go to 
Meredith and propose to him an agreement of peace, which 
he and his cousins, the sons of Cadwgan, accepted of; and 
promised to pay the king 10,000 head of cattle, in retri- 
bution for former offences. And so King Henry leaving all 
things in a peaceable and quiet posture in Wales, and ap- 
pointing the Lord Fitz-Warren warden or lieutenant of the 
Marches, returned to England. f 

A.D. 1120. When a foreign enemy was removed out of the country, 
the Welsh could never forbear quarrelling with each other ; 
and now Gruffydh ap Rhys ap Theodore, who had been for 
some time quiet, fell upon Gruffydh ap Sulhaern, and for 
some reason not discovered, treacherously slew him. The 
1121. next year there happened another occasion of disturbances 
and falling out among the Welsh ; for Eineon, the son of 
Cadwgan dying, left all his share of Powys and Merioneth 
to his brother Meredith. But his uncle Meredith ap 
Blethyn, thinking that these lands more properly belonged 
to him, ejected his nephew Meredith, to whom his brother 
Eineon had left them, and took possession of them himself. 
To augment these differences, King Henry set now at liberty 
Ithel ap Riryd ap Blethyn, Meredith's nephew, who had 
been for a long time detained in prison ; and, who coming 
to his own country, was in expectation to enjoy his estate, 


* Stowe's Chron. p. 140. Welsh Chron. p. 185. 

It was uncertain from whence this stroke proceeded ; but Henry, the instant he felt it, 
swore " by the death of our Lord," his usual oath, that the arrow came not from a Welsh 
but an English bow. William Malmsbury, p. 158, Frankfort edit. ; Baker's Chron. p. 40. 
t Welsh Chron. pp. 185, 186, 187. Wm. Malmsbury, p. 159. 


which, upon his being put in custody, his relations had 
divided betwixt them ; of which, the greatest share fell to 
his uncle Meredith : but when GrufFydh ap Conan was 
informed that Meredith ap Blethyn, contrary to all justice, 
had taken away by force the lands of his nephew Meredith 
ap Cadwgan, he sent his sons Cadwalhon and Owen with an 
army into Merioneth, who conquering and bringing to 
subjection all the country, carried away the chief of the 
people and all the cattle to Lhyn : and at the same time the 
sons of Cadwgan entered into the lands of Lhywarch ap 
Trahaern, and cruelly wasted and destroyed it, because he 
had countenanced the doings of their uncle Meredith ap 
Blethyn. These inward clashings and animosities concern- 
ing estates and titles, were seconded by most unnatural 
bloodshed and unparalleled cruelties ; for Meredith ap 
Blethyn, when he found that his nephew Meredith ap 
Cadwgan was assisted by the Prince of North Wales, and 
that it was impracticable to keep Merioneth from him, he 
was resolved to practise that upon his nephew, which he 
had failed to effect upon another: and, therefore, lest his A. D. 1122. 
other nephew Ithel ap Riryd should meet with the like help 
and encouragement to recover those lands, which during his 
imprisonment were taken from him, and of which his uncle 
actually enjoyed a considerable share ; Meredith thought 
he would prevent all disputes, by sending Ithel out of the 
world, which, upon mature deliberation, he treacherously 
effected. Nor was this the only murder committed at this 
time; for Cadwalhon, the son of GrufFydh ap Conan, ex- 
ceeded him far for guilt, and slew his three uncles, Grono, 
Ryryd, and Meilyr, the sons of Owen ap Edwyn ; and, what 
was most unnatural of all, Morgan ap Cadwgan with his 
own hands killed his brother Meredith, a crime most exe- 
crable, though he did afterwards repent of it. 

Not long after this, GrufFydh ap Rhys, by the false and 1124. 
invidious accusations of the Normans, was dispossessed of 
all the lands which King Henry had formerly granted him, 
and which he had for a considerable time peaceably enjoyed.* 
Towards the end of the same year died Daniel ap Sulgien, 
Bishop of St. David's, and Archdeacon of Powys, a man of 
extraordinary piety and learning, and one who made it his 
continual employment to endeavour to work a reconciliation 
betwixt North Wales and Powys, which in his time were 
continually at variance and enmity with one another. The 
next year died GrufFydh, the son of Meredith ap Blethyn ;f U25. 


* Welsh Chron. 187. 

, f Welsh Chron. 188. Having forsaken the interests of his native country, had long 
become a subject of the King of England Ibid. 


and about the same time Owen ap Cadwgan, having got 
into his hands Meredith ap Llywarch, delivered him to 
Pain Fitz-John, to be kept safe prisoner in the castle of 
Bridgnorth. The reason of this was, because Meredith had 
slain Meyric, his cousin-german, and very barbarously had 
pulled out the eyes of two more of his cousins, the sons of 
Griffri. This cruel and inhuman custom of plucking out 
the eyes of such as they hated or feared was too frequent ly 
A.D. 1126. practised in Wales; for the following year levaf the son of 
Owen served two of his brethren after this unnatural man- 
ner, and thinking that too little, passed a sentence of perpe- 
tual banishment upon them. A little after, his brother 
Lhewelyn ap Owen slew lorwerth ap Lhywarch ; but all 
this mischief practised by these two brothers levaf and 
Lhewelyn, recoiled at last upon themselves ; for their uncle 
Meredith ap Blethyn, being apprehensive that his two 
nephews were much in his way, and that if they were put 
aside, all their estate would of right fall to him, he slew 
levaf outright, and having plucked out Lhewelyn's eyes, 
castrated him, for fear he should beget any children to 
inherit his lands after him. These, no doubt, were bar- 
barous times, when for the least offence, nay sometimes 
suspicion, murder was so openly and incorrigibly commit- 
ted ; which must of necessity be attributed to this one evil, 
That so many petty states having equal power and authority 
in their own territories, and being subject to none but the 
king of England, still endeavoured to outvie and overtop 
each other : hence nearness of relation giving way to ambi- 
tion, they never regarded those of the same blood, so that 
themselves might add to their strength, and increase their 
estate by their fall ; and for this reason Meyric slew Lhy- 
warch, and his son Madawc his own cousins, but before he 
could make any advantage by their death, he was himself 
served after the same manner. The only person who after- 
wards repented of such a foul crime, was Morgan ap 
Cadwgan, who being severely troubled in mind for the 
murder he had lately committed upon his brother Meredith, 
took a journey to Jerusalem to expiate his crime, and in his 
return from thence died in the island of Cyprus. This 
treacherous way of privately murdering those by whom they 
1129. were offended, was prevalent among the Welsh ; for Eineon 
the son of Owen ap Edwyn, remembering that Cadwalhon 
the son of Gruffydh ap Conan had basely slain three of his 
brothers, and taking the opportunity of his being at Nan- 
hewdwy, he, assisted by Cadwgan ap Grono ap Edwyn, set 
upon him and slew him. About the same time, that great 



usurper Meredith a]) Bletbyn ap Confyn, who, by the most 
unnatural and horrid practices, had got the lands of all liJs 
brothers and nephews, and by that means was become a 
man of the greatest strength and sway in Powys, died of a 
fit of sickness, which had reduced him to such an appre- 
hension of the consequences of his former misdeeds, that he 
did penance as an expiation of his guilt. 

In the year 1 134, till which time nothing of moment was A.D. 1134. 
transacted in Wales, Henry, the first of that name, King of 
England, died in Normandy in the month of October ; after 
whom Stephen Earl of Buloign, son to the Earl of Blois, 
his sister's son, by the means of Hugh Bygod, was crowned 
king by the Archbishop of Canterbury, all the nobility of 
England consenting thereto; though contrary to a former 
oath they had taken to Maud the Empress. The first 
thing that employed his thoughts after his accession to the 
government, was against David King of the Scots ; who 
taking advantage of this new revolution in England, by 
some treacherous means or other, got the towns of Carlisle 
and Newcastle into his hands : but King Stephen, though 
scarcely settled in his throne, presently marched towards 
the North; of whose coming David being assured, and 
fearing to meet him, voluntarily restored Newcastle, and com- 
pounded for Carlisle ; but would not swear to him by reason 
of his oath to Maud ; which, however, his son did not scruple 
to do ; and thereupon was by King Stephen created Earl of 
Huntingdon. This alteration of affairs in England made 1135. 
also the Welsh bestir themselves ; for Morgan ap Owen, a 
man of considerable quality and estate in Wales, remember- 
ing the wrong and injury he had received at the hands of 
Richard Fitz-Gilbert, slew him, together with his son 
Gilbert. And shortly after this, Cadwalader and Owen 
Gwyneth, the sons of Gruflfydh ap Conan Prince of North 
Wales, having raised a mighty army, marched against the 
Normans and Flemings, and, coming to Cardigan,* com- 
mitted very considerable waste ami havock in the country, 
and took two of the strongest places, one belonging to 
Walter Espec,f and the castle of Aberystwyth. In this 
last place they were joined by Howel ap Meredith and 
Rhys ap Madawc ap Ednerth; who, marching forward, 
took the castle of Richard de la Mare, together with those 
of Dinerth and Caerwedros, and then returned with very 


* Welsh Chron. p. 189. 

f He built the castle called Catted Gwalter, in the parish of Llanfihangel Genau 
Glyn. It was destroyed in (he year 1135, by Cadwaladyr and Owain Gwynedd. 


valuable booty. Having succeeded so well in this expedi- 
tion, they could not rest satisfied till they had delivered the 
whole country from the intolerable pride and oppression of 
the Normans and Flemings ; and, therefore, returning the 
same year to Cardigan with 6000 foot and 2000 horse, 
well disciplined and experienced soldiers ; and being joined 
by Gruffydh ap Rhys and Howel ap Meredith of Brecknock 
with his sons, and Madawc ap Ednerth, they over-ran the 
country as far as Aberteifi, restoring all the former inhabit- 
ants to their proper inheritances, and discarding all such 
strangers as the late Earl of Strygil had placed in the 
country. But when Stephen, who was governor of Aber- 
teifi, saw that, he called to him Robert Fitz-Martyn, the 
sons of Gerald, and William Fitz- John, with all the strength 
of the Normans, Flemings, and English in Wales or the 
Marches, and, meeting with the Welsh betwixt Aber Nedd 
and Aber Dyfi, gave them battle. After a very fierce and 
bloody encounter, the English began to give ground, and, 
according to their usual manner, trusting too much to the 
strength of their towns and fortifications, began to look how 
to save themselves that way ; but the Welsh pressed upon 
them so hard, that they killed above 3000 men, besides 
several that were drowned, and many were taken prisoners. 
This victory being obtained, Cadwalader and Owen over- 
ran the whole country, forcing all the Normans and 
Flemings to depart the country with all speed, and placing 
in their room those miserable Welsh who had been so long 
deprived and kept from their own estates; and after they 
had thus cleared the country of their insatiable invaders, 
they returned to North Wales, laden with very rich spoils 
and acceptable plunder.* The king of England was not in 
a condition to take cognizance of the extremities his sub- 
jects were reduced to in Wales, because his own nobles 
of England were risen in arms against him ; the reason of 
which tumult among the nobility was occasioned by a falla- 
cious report that had been spread of the king's death, who 
then lay sick of a lethargy. They that bore him no good- 
will spread the rumour as much as they could, and stirred 
up the common people in behalf of the Empress ; whereas 
on the other hand the king's friends betook themselves to 
castles and strongholds for fear of the Empress, and among 
others Hugh Bygod secured the castle of Norwich, and 
after he was assured that the king was well again, he was 
loth to deliver the same out of his possession, unless it were 
A. D. 1137. to the king's own hands. During these commotions and 


* Welsh Chron. p. 189. 


troubles in England, Gruffydh ap Rhys, son to Rhys ap 
Theodore, the right heir to the principality of South Wales, 
died, leaving issue a son called Rhys, commonly known by 
the name of Lord Rhys, by Gwenlhian the daughter of 
Gruffydh ap Conan, who by some is said to have poisoned 
her husband.* Towards the end of the same year died 
likewise Gruffydh ap Conan, Prince of North Wales,f after 
he had reigned 57 years : his death was much lamented by 
all his subjects, because he was a prince of incomparable 
qualities, and one who, after divers victories obtained over 
the English, had thoroughly purged North Wales from all 
foreigners. He had issue by Angharad, the daughter of 
Owen ap Edwyn,J three sons, namely, Owen, Cadwalader, 
and Cadwalhon, and five daughters, Marret, Susanna, 
Ranulht, Agnes, and Gwenlhian; and by a concubine 
lago, Ascain, Edwal (Abbot of Penmon), Dolhing, and 
Elen, who was married to Hova ap Ithel Felyn of Yal. 
There were several excellent laws enacted in his time ; and 
among the rest, he reformed the great disorders of the 
Welsh minstrels, which w r ere then grown to great abuse. 
Of these there were three sorts in Wales ; the first were 
called Beirdh, who composed several songs and odes of 
various measures, wherein the poet's skill was not only 
required, but also a natural endowment, or a vein which the 
Latins term furor poeticus. These likewise kept the 
records of all gentlemen's arms and pedigrees, and were 
principally esteemed among all the degrees of the Welsh 
poets. The next were such as played upon musical instru- 
ments, chiefly the harp and the crowd or crwth; which 
musick Gruffydh || ap Conan first brought over into W T ales; 


* Gwenlhian, desirous of aiding the designs of her husband, took the field in person 
at the head of her own forces, attended by her two sons ; but her army was defeated 
by Maurice de Londres. Morgan, one of her sons, was slain in the action, and her other 
son, Maelgwyn, was taken prisoner ; and the princess herself, it is said, was beheaded by 
the orders of her brutal enemy. Girald. Cambr. Uin. An action so savage, without 
precedent even in these times, called loudly for vengeance on the spirit of ihe injured 
princess. This circumstance clearly contradicts the assertion of Morentius Monk of 
Westminster, that Gwenlhian, wife to Gryffydh ap Rhys, by deceitful practices, had been 
the cause of his death. Girald. Cambr. I tin. lib. i. c. iv. See Welsh Chron. p. 190. 

f He died at the advanced age of eighty-two years, and was buried on the south side 
of the great altar in the church of Bangor.- Vita Griff, fil. Conani. 

J Lord of Englefield. 
He was slain before the death of his father. Welsh Chron. p. 191. 

|| An elegy on Gruffydh was sung by Meilyr Brydydd, which piece is preserved in the 
Welsh Archaiology, and concludes thus, 

" O, may the son of Cynan, of enlarge.! mind, be with Christ in the pure adoration of 
the region of glory ! Since the chief of men obtains the social confidence of angels, as to 
my life I have not a longing wish : he is, through the meritorious rrediation of One of 
the Unity of Trinity, in a purely splendid home of the celestial world." 


who being born in Ireland, and descended by his mother's 
side of Irish parents, brought with him from thence several 
skilful musicians, that invented almost all the instruments 
which were afterwards played upon in Wales. The last 
sort were called Atcaneaid, whose business it was to sing to 
the instruments played- upon by another. Each of these, 
by the same statute, had their several reward and encou- 
ragement allotted to them ; their life and behaviour was to 
be spotless and unblameable, otherwise their punishment 
was very severe and rigid, every one having authority to 
punish and correct them, even to the deprivation of all they 
had. They were also interdicted and forbidden to enter 
any man's house, or to compose any song of any one, 
without the special leave and warrant of the party concerned ; 
with many other ordinances relating to the like purpose. 


A.D. 1137. AFTER the death of Gruffydh ap Conan, his eldest son 
Owen, surnamed Gwynedh, succeeded in the principality 
of North Wales; who had no sooner entered upon the 
government than, together with the rest of his brethren, 
he made an expedition into South Wales, and having 
demolished and overthrown the castles of Stradmeyric, 
Stephan, and Humflfrey, and laid in ashes the town of 
Caermardhyn,* he returned home with no less honour than 
booty and plunder. About the same time, John, Arch- 
deacon of Lhanbadarn, departed this life, a man of singular 
piety and strictness of life, who, for his rigid zeal in religion 
and virtue, was thought worthy to be canonized, and to be 
counted among the number of the saints. This year like- 
wise King Stephen passed over to Normandy, and having 
concluded a peace with the French king and the Duke of 
Anjou, returned back to England without any further 
delay: but the following spring gave opportunity for 
greater undertakings; David king of Scots, upon the king 
of England's going to France last summer, had entered the 
borders of England, and continued to make considerable 
waste and havock in that part of the country. Whereupon 
King Stephen, to rid his country and his subjects from so 
dangerous an enemy, marched with an army towards the 
North, whose coming the king of Scots hearing of, he relin- 

* Welsh Chron. p. 193. He retained in his possession all Caerdigan, compelled 
the inhabitants of Pembroke to pay him tribute, and returned to his own dominions in 
high reputation, Brit Ant, Rev. by Vaughan of Hengwrt, p. 23. 


quished the borders of England, and retired to his own 
country. But that did not satisfy King Stephen, who 
desired to be further revenged for the unpardonable hostili- 
ties committed by the Scots in his dominions ; and therefore 
pursuing them to their own country, he harassed and laid 
waste all the south part of the kingdom of Scotland. The 
king's absence, however, animated several of the English 
nobility to rebel; for which purpose they fortified every 
one of their castles and strongholds; William Earl of 
Gloucester those of Leeds and Bristol; Ralph Lunel, 
Cari; William Fitz-Alan, Shrewsbury; Paganellus, Lud- 
low; William de Moyun, Dunester; Robert de Nichol, 
Warham; Eustace Fitz-John, Merton; and Walklyn, 
Dover. Notwithstanding all these mighty preparations, 
the king in a short time became master of them all ; some 
he won by assault, others upon fair promises and advan- 
tageous conditions were surrendered, and some he got by 
treacherous under-hand contrivances. The Scots thought 
to take advantage of these commotions in England ; and 
thereupon, as soon as they heard that some of the nobility 
were in actual rebellion against the king, they entered into 
the borders, and began, as they thought without any appre- 
hension of opposition, to ravage and lay waste the country 
before them: but William Earl of Albemarle, William 
Pyppell Earl of Nottingham, Walter Espec, and Gilbert 
Lacy, gathered together all the forces they could raise in 
the North; and being animated and encouraged by the 
eloquent and pressing oration of Ralph Bishop of Orkneys, 
which he delivered in the audience of the whole army, they 
set upon the Scots at Almerton with such courage that, 
after a very great slaughter of his men, King David was 
glad to escape with his life by flight. After this, King 
Stephen seized to his own use the castles of Ludlow and 
Leeds, and pressed the bishops of Salisbury and Lincoln so 
hard, that to prevent their perishing by famine, they were 
constrained to surrender ; the former the castles of Vises 
and Shirburn, the latter those of Newark-upon-Trent and 
Sleeford. This greatly augmented the king's strength 
against the ensuing storm; for in the summer this year, 
Maud the Empress, daughter and heir to King Henry, to 
whom King Stephen and all the nobility of England had 
sworn allegiance, landed at Arundel, with her brother 
Robert Earl of Gloucester, and was there honourably re- 
ceived, by William de Albineto, who was lately married 
to Queen Adeliz, King Henry's widow, with whom he 
received the Earldom of Arundel in dowry. As soon as 



King Stephen heard of her landing, he marched with all 
possible speed to Arundel, and laid siege to the castle; 
but finding it impregnable, he raised the siege, and by that 
means suffered the Empress and her brother to escape to 

A. D. 1138. The next year an unlucky accident fell out in Wales; 
Cynric/ one of Prince Owen's sons, having by some means 
or other disgusted Madawc ap Meredith ap Blethyn ap 
Confyn, a person of considerable esteem and estate in the 
country, was by his connivance set upon and slain by his 
men. The affairs of England this year afforded greater 
rarity of action ; King Stephen with a formidable army laid 
siege to the city of Lincoln, to the relief of which, Ranulph 
Earl of Chester, and Robert Earl of Gloucester, marched 
with their forces : but before they could arrive, the town 
was taken ; whereupon they drew up their forces in order 
to give the king battle, who on the other side was ready to 
receive them. King Stephen drew up his forces in three 
divisions, the first being led by the Earls of Britain, Mellent, 
Norfolk, Hampton, and Warren ; the second by the Earl of 
Albemarle, and William of Ypres ; and the third by the 
king himself, assisted by Baldwyn Fitz-Gilbert, with several 
others of his nobility. Of the enemy's side, the disinherited 
barons had the first place ; the Earl of Chester, with a con- 
siderable party of Welshmen, far better couraged than 
armed, led the second ; and the Earl of Gloucester the 
third division. After an obstinate battle on both sides, the 
victory at length favoured the barons, King Stephen being 
first taken prisoner, and a little after the queen, together 
with William of Ypres and Bryan Fitz-Count ; but within 
a while after, William Martell and Geoffrey de Mandeville 
gathered together some fresh forces, and fought the Empress 
and her brother at Winchester, and having put the Empress 
to flight, took Earl Robert prisoner, for exchange of whom, 

1139. the king was set at liberty. The next year King Stephen 
adventured another battle, and received a second overthrow 
at Wilton ; which, however, did not so much discourage 
him, but that he laid so close a siege to the Empress and 
her forces at Oxford, that she was glad to make her escape 
to Wallingford. The same year died Madawc ap Ednerth, 
a person of great quality and note in Wales ; and Meredith 
ap Howel, a man in considerable esteem, was slain by the 
sons of Blethyn ap Gwyn. 

1140. For the two succeeding years nothing remarkable passed 
in Wales ; excepting that this year Howel ap Meredith ap 
Rhytherch of Cantref Bychan, and Rhys ap Howel were 



slain in a cowardly manner by the treachery and perfidious 
practices of the Flemings; and the next year Howel ap^.D. 1141. 
Meredith ap Blethyn was basely murdered by his own men ; 
at which time, Howel and Cadwgan the sons of Madawc ap 
Ednerth, upon some unhappy quarrel, killed each other. 
Shortly after this, an irreconcileable difference fell out 1142. 
betwixt Ariarawd son to Gruffydh ap Rhys, Prince of South 
Wales, and his father-in-law Cadwalader the son of Gruftydh 
ap Conan, and brother to Prince Owen Gwynedh ; which 
from words quickly proceeded to blows. In this dispute 
Anarawd was unhappily slain ; which so exasperated Prince 
Owen against his brother Cadwalader, that, together with 
his son Howel, he marched with an army into his brother's 
country, and after a considerable waste and destruction, 
burnt to the ground the castle of Aberystwyth. Cadwalader, 
upon hearing the news of Prince Owen's approach, withdrew 
himself and fled to Ireland ; where having hired a great 
number of Irish and Scots for two thousand marks, under 
the command of Octer, and the sons of Turkel and Cherulf, 
he sailed for Wales, and landed at Abermeny,* in Carnar- 
vonshire. The Prince marched instantly to prevent their 
farther progress into the country ; and both armies being 
come in view of each other, a peace was happily concluded 
betwixt the two brothers. The Irish understanding this, 
and that their coming over was likely to prove but a fool's 
errand to them, they surprised and secured Cadwalader, till 
their wages and arrears were paid ; who, .to obtain hip 
liberty, delivered to them two thousand head of cattle, 
besides many prisoners, and other booty, which they had 
taken in the country : but as soon as the prince was informed 
that his brother Cadwalader was set free, he fell upon the 
Irish, and having slain a very considerable number of them, 
recovered all the booty they purposed to ship off, and forced 
as many as could escape to return with great Joss, and a 
greater shame, back to Ireland, f 

The Normans, however, had far better success in Wales ; 
Hugh son to Radulph Earl of Chester, having fortified his 
castle of Cymaron, entered and won the country of Melienyth 
a second time; and the castle of Clun being fortified by 
another lord, all Elvel became subject to the Normans. At 
the same time King Stephen took Geoffrey Mandeville 
prisoner at St. Albans, where the Earl of Arundel, by the 
fall of his horse, had nearly been drowned in the river : but 
the Earl of Mandeville, to obtain his liberty, delivered up 
to the king the tower of London, with the castles of Walden 


* Abermenai. f Welsh Chron. p. 197. 


and Plassey, which reduced him to such a condition, that he 
was forced to live upon the plunder and spoil of abbies and 
other religious houses, till at length he was slain in a skir- 
mish against the king, and his son was banished. 
A. D. 1144. The next year a skirmish happened betwixt Hugh de 
Mortimer and Rhys ap Howel, wherein the latter was taken 
prisoner, with many others of his accomplices, who were all 
committed to prison by the English : but it fared much 
better with Howel* and Conan, the sons of Prince Owen, 
who having raised an army against the Flemings and Nor- 
mans, gained a considerable victory at Aberteifi,f and 
having placed a garrison in the town, returned home with 
great honour and much booty. 

About the same time, Sulien ap Rhythmarch, one of the 
college of Lhanbadarn, and a person of great reading and 
extensive learning, departed this life. Shortly after, Gilbert 
Earl of Clare came with a great number of forces to Dyfed, 
and built the castle of Caermardhyn, and the castle of the 
1145. sons of Uchtryd.J Hugh Mortimer likewise slew Meyric 
ap Madawc ap Riryd ap Bleddin, and Meredith ap Madawc 
ap Ednerth. Thus far it went of the side of the English ; 
but now the Welsh began to gain ground : Cadelh the son 
of Gruffydh ap Rhys, Prince of South Wales, laid siege to 
the castle of Dynefawr, belonging to Earl Gilbert, which 
being surrendered, Cadelh, assisted by his brethren Meredith 
and Rhys, brought his army before the castle of Caermard- 
hyn, which after a short siege yielded in a like manner, on 
condition, however, that the garrison should not be put to 
the sword. || 

From thence he marched to Lhanstephan,1[and encamped 
before the castle ; to the relief of which the Normans and 
Flemings coming with their forces, were completely van- 

quished, and the castle was speedily delivered up to the 
Welsh. The Normans were so much incensed at this, that 
they mustered all the forces they could draw together out 
of the neighbouring countries, and unexpectedly surrounded 
the castle, intending by all possible means to recover the 
same : but the governor, Meredith ap Gruffydh, a man of 
great years, and no less experience, so animated and en- 
couraged the besieged, that when the Normans and Flemings 
ventured to scale the walls, they were beat back with such 


* Besides being a gallant warrior, Prince Howel was a bard of some eminence : he 
wrote an account of his battles in verse, and some love verses, in a most elegant manner j 
several of which appear in the Welsh Archaiology. 

f Welsh Chron.p.198. J Ibid. 

Dinas Faur, or the Great Palace. |] Welsh Chron. p. 198. 

Ofl Llan Stephan, situate on the mouth of the river Towi, in the county of Caermarthen. 


vigour, and loss on their side, that at length they were com- 
pelled to raise the siege, and leave the Welsh in possession 
of the castle.* 

Shortly after this, Run,f the son of Prince Owen of North 
Wales, a youth of great promise and incomparable qualifi- 
cations, died, whose death his father took so much to heart, 
that for some time he seemed to be past all comfort, being 
fallen into such a melancholy disposition, that he was satis- 
fied with nothing but retirement : but an accident fell out, 
which roused him out of this lethargical fit of sorrow and 
discontent : the castle of Mold was so very strong and well 
garrisoned by the English, that it greatly annoyed the 
country thereabouts, and had been frequently besieged, but 
could never be taken. Prince Owen at this time levied an 
army, and laid close siege to it ; and the garrison throughout 
several assaults behaved itself so manfully, that the place 
seemed impregnable : but the presence and example of 
Prince Owen so encouraged his men > that they renewed the 
attack with all possible vigour and might, and at last forced 
their entrance into the castle. Having put a great number 
of the garrison to the sword, and taken the rest prisoners, 
the castle was razed to the ground; and this fortunate 
attempt so pleased the prince, that he forgot all sorrow for 
his son, and returned to his usual temper and accustomed 
merriments. At the same time, King Stephen of England 
obtained a remarkable victory over his enemies at Faren- 
don ; and although the ensuing year Randal Earl of Chester 
and he were reconciled, yet he thought it more adviseable 
to detain him prisoner, though contrary to his promise^ 
until such time as the Earl would deliver up the castle of 
Lincoln, with all the forts and places of strength in his 

The next year, Cadelh, Meredith, and Rhys, the sons of A.D. 1146. 
Gruffydh ap Rhys ap Theodore brought an army before the 
castle of Gwys ; but finding themselves too weak to master 
it, they desired Howel, son to Prince Owen Gwynedh, a 
person famous for martial endowments, to come to their 
assistance. Howel, who was very desirous of signalizing 
himself, and of evidencing his valour to the world, readily 
consented to their request; and having drawn his forces 
together, marched directly towards Gwys, where being 
arrived, he was joyfully received, and honourably entertained 
by such lords as desired his help. Having viewed the 
strength and fortification of the castle, he found it was im- 

* Welsh Chron. p. 198. 
t A favourite, though an illegitimate son. Welsh Chron. p. 226. 


practicable to take the place, without the walls could be 
destroyed and therefore he gave orders that certain batter- 
ing engines should be provided, whilst the rest should 
harass and molest the besieged, by throwing great stones 
into the castle.* The enemies perceiving what irresistible 
preparations the besiegers contrived, thought it to no pur- 
pose to withstand their fury ; and therefore to do that volun- 
tarily which must be done by compulsion, they presently 
yielded up the castle. Shortly after this a great difference 
happened betwixt the sons of Prince Owen, Howel and 
Conan, and their uncle Cadwalader ; whereupon the former 
entered with an army into the country of Merioneth, and 
committed great wastes and hostilities there, insomuch that 
the inhabitants flocked into sanctuaries to save their lives : 
but the young lords finding what a fearful and unsettled 
condition the people were in, and the better to draw them 
to their side, issued a proclamation, assuring them that all 
who would favour their country, should not only enjoy their 
lives, but their former liberty and accustomed privileges ; 
upon the publication of which edict, the people returned to 
their own habitations. Having by this stratagem brought 
all the country under their own pleasure and good will, they 
led their army before the castle of Cynvael, belonging to 
Cadwalader, which he had built and strongly fortified. 
The government of this castle Cadwalader had committed 
to Merfyn, abbot of Tygwyn, or the White House; who 
being summoned to surrender, by the brothers Howel and 
Conan, did not only refuse, but defied their utmost efforts 
upon the place. The lords finding they could do no. good 
by threats and menaces, judged it more convenient to make 
use of the other extreme ; and therefore promised the abbot 
a very high reward, if he would deliver the castle into their 
hands : but all proved of no effect, the abbot being a person 
of more honesty and greater honour than to be corrupted to 
betray his trust, told them flatly that he would not deceive 
his master's expectation, and therefore would choose rather 
to die with honour, than to live with shame. The lords 
finding him inexorable, and withal being vexed that a 
churchman should put such a stop to their fortunate pro- 
ceedings, made such a vigorous assault upon the castle, that 
after they had pulled down some part of the walls, they 
entered in by force, and ravaged so furiously, that they 
killed and wounded the whole garrison, the abbot only 
escaping, who, by the help of some of his friends in Howel's 
army, got away safe.f Towards the close of this year, 


Welsh Chron. p. 200. f Welsh Chron. p. 201. 


several persons of note departed this life, among whom were 
Robert Earl of Gloucester, and Gilbert Earl of Clare, as 
also Uchthryd bishop of Llandaff, a man of great piety and 
learning, in whose see succeeded Nicholas ab Gurgant. 

The following year also died Bernard bishop of St. A. D. 1147. 
David's, and was succeeded by David Fitzgerald, then 
archdeacon of Cardigan. Sometime after, Prince Owen 1148. 
Gwynedh built a castle in Yale, called Castelh y Rodwyth ; 
and his brother Cadwalader built another at Lhanrystid, 
and bestowed his part of Cardigan upon his son Cadwgan. 
Also Madoc the son of Meredith ap Blethyn founded the 
castle of Oswestry, and gave his nephews Owen and Meyric, 
the sons of Gruffydh ap Meredith, his share of Cyfeilioc. 

The next year Conan son to Prince Owen Gwynedh, for 1149. 
certain faults and miscarriages committed against his father, 
though the particulars are not discovered, was put in prison, 
where for some time he continued in custody. But it fared 
better with his brother Howel, who having made his uncle 
Cadwalader his prisoner, reduced all his country, together 
with his castle, subject to himself. In South Wales, some 
business of moment happened this year ; Cadelh the son of 
Gruffydh ap Rhys having fortified the castle of Carmardhyn, 
marched with his army towards Cydwely, wasted and de- 
stroyed the whole country, and being returned home, joined 
his army with his brothers Meredith and Rhys, who entering 
into the country of Cardigan, won that part called Is Aeron. 
This was succeeded by an action of greater importance in 
North Wales; some irreconcileable difference arising be- 
twixt Prince Owen and Randal Earl of Chester, it quickly 
broke out into open war. The Earl made all the prepara- 
tions the time would permit, and drew together a consider- 
able army from all parts of England, and what strengthened 
and encouraged him the more, he was joined by Madoc ap 
Meredith Prince of Powys, who disdaining to hold his lands 
of Prince Owen Gwynedh, chose rather to side with and 
abet his enemies. The prince, on the other hand, was not 
backward in his preparations, and perceiving the enemy to 
come upon him, thought it adviseable not to suffer him to 
advance too far into the country, but to stop and prevent his 
career before he should take too firm a footing in his do- 
minions. To this end he marched with his whole power as 
far as Consyllt in Flintshire, with full resolution to give the 
Earl of Chester battle, which the English were glad of, as 
thinking themselves far more numerous, and much better 
armed and disciplined than the Welsh : but both armies 
having joined battle, the English quickly faltered in their 
expectation of success, and finding the Welsh to press 



irresistibly upon them, they thought it wiser to retire, and 
endeavour to save themselves by flight: the Welsh, how- 
ever, pursued them so hard that few escaped being either 
slain or taken prisoners, and they some of the chief com- 
manders, who through the fleetness of their horses avoided 
the fury of their pursuers.* 

A. D. 1150. The next year the scene of action removed to South 
Wales ; Cadelh, Meredith, and Rhys, the sons of Gruffydh 
ap Rh}'s, Prince of South Wales, being entered with an 
army into Cardigan, won all the country from the son of 
Howel Prince of North Wales, excepting the castle of 
Lhanfihangel in Pengwern. The siege of Lhanrystyd castle 
proved so difficult, that the young lords of South Wales lost 
a great part of their bravest soldiers before it, which so 
enraged them, that when they got possession of the castle, 
they put all the garrison to the sword. From thence they 
marched to Ystradmeyric castle, which after they had won, 
manned, and re-fortified, they disbanded their forces, and 
returned home. But Cadelh, the eldest of the brothers, 
was upon the point of receiving that blow by treachery at 
home, which he had escaped from the enemies abroad ; for 
some of the inhabitants of Tenby in Pembrokeshire, having 
conceived a displeasure and hatred against Cadelh, were 
resolved to revenge themselves, and to lay a trap for his life; 
and having observed that he took great pleasure in hunting, 
were resolved to execute their plot, whilst he was hot and 
eager at his sport. Observing, therefore, one day that he 
went a hunting with only a few companions, they placed them- 
selves in ambuscade, and when the game came that way, they 
unexpectedly set upon the unarmed sportsmen, and having 
easily made all the rest fly away, they wounded Cadelh so 
cruelly, that he narrowly escaped their hands alive; he 
made shift, however, to get home, lay for a long time dan- 
gerously ill, and with great difficulty at length recovered his 
life. Upon this, his brothers Meredith and Rhys passed 
with an army into Gwyr, and having burnt and destroyed 
the country thereabouts, they besieged and took the castle of 
Aberlhychwr, but finding they could not keep it, they razed 
it to the ground, and after that returned home with great 
booty to Dynevawr, and repaired the fortifications of the 
castle there.f About the same time also, Howel, Prince 
Owen Gwynedh's son, fortified Humphry's castle in the 
valley of Caletwr. 

1151. But the following year Prince Owen did a very barbarous 
action to Cunetha, his brother Cadwalhon's son ; for, being 


* Welsh Chron. p. 202. Hist. Gwedir Family, p. 4. 
f The ancient palace of their ancestors. 


apprehensive lest this young man should lay claim to any 
part of his estate as his father's right, he first pulled out his 
eyes, and afterwards castrated him, that he should not beget 
any children to renew a claim to Cadwalhon's estate.* This 
inhuman severity was succeeded by another of no small 
remark; Lhewelyn, son to Madoc ap Meredith, having 
watched a convenient opportunity, set upon and slew Stephen 
the son of Baldwin : but Cadwalader, Prince Owen's 
brother, after a tedious imprisonment which he had sus- 
tained through the malice and rancour of his nephew Howel, 
at length made his escape, and flying to the Isle of Angle- 
sey, brought a considerable part of that island under his 
subjection. Prince Owen hearing that his brother had 
escaped from custody, and that he was in actual possession 
of a great part of Anglesey, immediately dispatched an army 
over, which proving too formidable to Cadwalader's party, 
he was constrained to escape to England, and to desire 
succour from the relations of his wife, who was the daughter 
of Gilbert Earl of Clare.f This year Galfrede Arthur, 
commonly called Geoffrey of Monmouth, was made bishop 
of St. Asaph, and at the same time Simon Archdeacon of 
Cyfeilioc, a man of great worth and esteem in his country, 

The year following, Meredith and Rhys, the sons of At D - 1152 ' 
Gruffydh ap Rhys Prince of South Wales, laid siege to 
Penwedic castle, which belonged to Howel, Prince Owen's 
son, and after great pains and considerable loss of men on 
their side, at last made themselves masters of it. From 
thence they marched by night to Tenby, and unexpectedly 
falling upon the castle, of which one Fitzgerald was 
governor, they scaled the walls before the garrison were 
aware of any danger, and so possessing themselves of the 
castle, they fell upon the garrison, in revenge of the mis- 
chief they had done and further designed to their brother 
Cadelh : for Cadelh at this time was gone upon a pilgrimage, 
and during his absence had committed his whole inheritance 
and all other concerns in Wales to the care of his brethren, 
Meredith and Rhys. After the taking of Tenby castle, 
they divided their army into two parties, with one of which 
Rh} 7 s marched to Ystratcongen; and after great havock and 
waste committed there, he passed to Cyfeilioc, which fared 
in like manner with Ystratcongen. Meredith, with the 
other party, encamped before Aberavan castle, and after a 
short siege won and got possession of it, and then returned 


* Welsh Chron. p. 203. 
t Memoirs of Gwedir Family, p. 5. Welsh Chron. 203. 


home with very considerable booty and many rich spoils. 
About the same time, Randal Earl of Chester, who had 
lived in continual enmity and frequent hostility with Prince 
Owen of North Wales, departed this life, leaving his son 
Hugh to enjoy both his titles and estate in England, and to 
prosecute the feuds and hostilities against the Welsh. 
A. p. 1153. Shortly after died Meredith, son to Gruffydh ap Rhys, 
Prince of South Wales, who was Lord of Cardigan, Ystrat- 
ywy, and Dyfed, being not passed the twenty-fifth year of 
his age; a person of incomparable valour and enterprize, 
and in all his attempts and achievements very fortunate. 
He was presently followed by Geoffrey Bishop of Llandaff, 
a man as famous for learning and a good life as the other 
was for masculine bravery and martial prowess. In Eng- 
land the face of things looked very lowering ; Henry, sur- 
named Shortmantle, the empress's son, landed in England, 
and in his progress through the country took several castles, 
among which were Malmesbury, Wallingford, and Shrews- 
bury : but his fury was quickly appeased by the death of 
Eustace, King Stephen's son, so that the sole obstacle to 
his succeeding to the throne being now removed, he wil- 
lingly concluded a peace with King Stephen, permitting 
him to enjoy the crown peaceably for his life, upon condi- 

1154. tion that he should be declared his successor. King 
Stephen did not long survive this treaty ; and then Henry 
Plantagenet, the Empress's son, was crowned in his stead. 

1155. Towards the beginning of King Henry's reign, Rhys 
Gruffydh ap Rhys, King of South Wales, upon apprehen- 
sion that Owen Gwynedh had raised an army for the 
conquest of South Wales, drew together all his strength, 
and marched to Aberdyfi to face the enemy upon their own 
borders : but finding the rumour to be false, and that the 
prince of North Wales had no such design in hand, having 
built a castle at Aberdyfi, which might defend the frontiers 
from any future attempt on his country, he returned back 
without attempting any thing farther. At the same time, 
Madoc ap Meredith built a castle at Caereneon near Cymer, 
and then Eglwys Fair* in Meivod was founded. About 
this time also, Meyric, nephew to Prince Madoc ap 
Meredith, made his escape out of prison, wherein he had 
been detained by his uncle for a considerable time. 

The same year, King Henry, being displeased with the 
Flemings, whom his predecessor King Stephen had brought 
over into England, issued a proclamation, charging the 
greatest part of them to depart his dominions, and to retire 


* For Mair Saint Mary's Church. 


to their countrymen in West Wales, where his grandfather, 
Henry the First, the bastard's son, had planted them :* and 
thus that part of Wales called Pembrokeshire was over-run 
with these strangers, who, being more befriended by the 
kings of England than the Welsh could expect to be, made 
sure footing in that country, where they have ever since 
continued firm. It was the English policy of those times to 
accept any opportunity to curb and keep under the Welsh, 
whom they found by experience to be unsafe neighbours, 
and therefore the kings of England granted various lands 
and privileges in Wales to any that would receive them, 
which lands and privileges they had of right no power to 

This, however, was not detrimental enough to the Welsh ; A - D - 1156> 
for the year following King Henry raised a very great 
army, which he gathered from all parts of England, for the 
purpose of subduing all North Wales,f being principally 
moved hereto by the instigation of Cadwalader the prince's 
brother, whom Owen Gwynedh, for reasons not known, 
deprived of his estate, and banished the country. Madoc 
ap Meredith Prince of Powys (who maligned the liberty 
and privilege of the princes of North Wales, who owned 
subjection to no other than the king of England, whereas 
those of Powys were obliged to do homage to the prince of 
North Wales) also jointly consented to this invitation. 
The king of England accepted their proposals, led his 
army to West-Chester, and encamped upon the marsh 
called Saltney, which borders on the river Dee, in Welsh 
Morfa-Caer-Lleon. Prince Owen, all this while, was not 
ignorant of the intended invasion ; and therefore having 
made all possible preparations to confront the enemy, he 
marched his army to the frontiers of England, and, encamp- 
injg at Basingwerk,J resolved to give the English battle. 
King Henry being informed of the prince's resolution, 
detached some of the best troops out of the main body, 
under the command of several earls and other noblemen, 
and sent them towards the prince's camp : but after they 
had advanced some little way, and were passing through a 
wood called Coed-Eulo, David and Conan, Prince Owen's 


* Welsh Chron. p. 205. 

f Such were the mighty preparations which this prince made for the conquest of 
Wales, that he compelled every two of his military vassals throughout England to find a 
soldier to reinforce his army, and to enable him with greater vigour to prosecute the war. 
Matth. Paris, p. 81. There were sixty thousand knights' fees created by the Con- 
queror, which must make the levy of Henry raised at this time 30,000 men. Hume's 
Hist. Eng. vol. ii. p 2. Appendix, p. 141. 

I Near Holywell, in the county of Flint. Near Hawarden. 


sons, unexpectedly set upon them, and by the advantage of 
the ground and the suddenness of the action, the English 
were repulsed with great slaughter, and those who survived 
narrowly escaped to the king's camp.* This was a very 
unwelcome beginning to King Henry ; but in order that he 
might succeed better hereafter, he thought it advisable to 
depart from Saltney and to arrange his troops along the sea- 
coast, thinking thereby to get betwixt Prince Owen and 
his country, which if he could effect, he thought he was 
sure to place the Welsh in a state of very great inconveni- 
ence : but the prince, foreseeing the danger of this, retired 
with his army to a place called Cil Owen, that is, Owen's 
Retreat, which when King Henry perceived, he relin- 
Lib. 2. quished his design, and proceeded to Ruthlan. W. Parnus 
cap. 5. writes, that in this expedition against the Welsh, King 
Henry was in great danger of his life, in passing through a 
strait at Counsyllt near Flint, where Henry Earl of Essex, 
who by inheritance enjoyed the office of bearing the stand- 
ard of England, being attacked by the enemy, cast down 
the same and fled.f This accident encouraged the Welsh, 
and they bore down so violently, that the king himself 
narrowly escaped, having of his party Eustace Fitz-John 
and Robert Curcie, two valiant knights, together with 
several others of his nobility and gentry, slain in the action.^ 
After this, Prince Owen decamped from Cil Owen, and 
intrenched himself upon Bryn y Pin, where little of moment 
passed between the two armies, but some slight skirmishes 
happened frequently. King Henry in the mean time forti- 
fied the castle of Ruthlan, and during his stay there, Madoc 
ap Meredith, Prince of Powys, sailed with the English fleet 
to Anglesey, and having put some men on shore, they burnt 
two churches, and ravaged part of the country about : but 
they paid very dear for it, for all the strength of the island 
being met together, they fell upon them in their return to 
their ships, and cut them off, so that not one remained to 
bring tidings to the fleet of what had befel him. They on 
board, however, quickly perceived what had happened, and 
therefore thought it not very safe to continue on that coast, 


* Welsh Chron p. 206. 

f- The year following, Essex was accused of high treason by Roger de Montford 5 and 
being vanquished by him in a single combat, which happened in consequence, he was 
condemned to death by King Henry, though the severity of the sentence was after- 
wards mitigated by that prince : his estate, however, was confiscated, and, after being 
shorn like a monk, he was confined during his life in a convent. Lord Lyttelton's History 
of Henry II. 

J Holinshead's Chron. p. 67 Chronica Gervasii p. 1380. 

A stronger post, situate three miles west of St. Asaph. Stowe's Chron. p. 109: a 
manuscript copy in Welsh, by Caradoc of Llancarvan. 


but judging it more adviseable to weigh anchor, they set sail 
for Chester;* when they were arrived thither, they found 
that a peace was actually concluded betwixt King Henry 
and Prince Owen, upon condition that Cadwalader should 
have all his lands restored to him and be received to the 
favour and friendship of his brother. Then King Henry, 
leaving the castles of Ruthlan and Basin gwerk well manned 
and fortified, and having near the latter founded a public 
structure for the order of Knights Templars, returned to 
England: but the troubles of Wales did not end with his 
expedition, for lorwerdh Goch ap Meredith, who had taken 
part with the king of England during this war, laid siege to 
the castle of Yale, which was built by Prince Owen^ and, 
making himself master of it, rased it to the ground. 

The next year commenced with a very unfortunate action : A - D - 1157 * 
Ifor ap Meyric having long before cast a very wishful eye 
upon the land and estate of Morgan ap Owen, was now 
resolved to put in execution what he had before contrived, 
and, as covetousness seldom bears any regard to virtue or 
honour, he treacherously attacked him and slew him ; and 
with him fell Gurgan ap Rhys, the most famous British 
poet of his time. Morgan's estate Ifor bestowed upon his 
brother lorwerth, who about the same time got also posses- 
sion of the town of Caer-Lheon. These home-bred dis- 
turbances were mitigated by a general peace, which was 
shortly after this time concluded betwixt the king of Eng- 
land and all the princes and lords of Wales, Rhys ap 
Gruffydh ap Rhys Prince of South Wales only excepted :f 
for this Prince Rhys, who probably would not rely impli- 
citly upon the king of England's fidelity, refused to consent 
to a peace ; but to secure himself as well as he could from 
the English, whom he had too much reason to fear, he 
thought it most prudent to issue orders, commanding his 
subjects to remove their cattle and other effects to the 
wilderness of Tywy, where they were likely to remain 
secure from the eyes and reach of the enemy. He had not, 
however, continued there Ions;, when he received a more 
positive and express order from King Henry, commanding 
him to appear forthwith at court, and to accept the pro- 
posals of peace, before the joint forces of England and 
Wales were sent to fetch him. Prince Rhys having re- 


* Welsh Chron. p. 207. Giraldus Cambr. Itin. lib. ii. cap. 7. William Newburgh, 
lib. ii. cap. 5. Brompton's Chron. p. 1048. 

t Rhys was the eldest of six towardly sons, which his father Gruffydd had by 
Gwenllian, the fair daughter of Gruffydd ap Conan Prince of North Wales, and, 
surviving them all, obtained the dominion of South Wales. Pantou Papers. 


ceived such a threatening message, thought fit to relinquish 
the design that he had before so rashly resolved upon, and 
therefore, after long consultation, he accepted the king's 
proposal and appeared at court. It was there agreed, that 
Khys, whose lands heretofore lay scattered about and were 
intermixed with other persons' estates, should enjoy Cantref 
Mawr, and any other Cantref which the king should be 
pleased to bestow upon him : but contrary to this article, 
the king assigned him several lordships and other lands far 
remote from each other, and particularly intermixed them 
with the estates of Englishmen, who he was sure would be a 
watch and a curb to all the motions of Prince Rhys. This 
was indeed a very politick contrivance of King Henry to 
keep the high and restless spirit of Rhys in subjection ; but 
the justice of the transaction does not so evidently appear 
in thus breaking one of the chief articles of the peace, and 
dismembering and bestowing that which was not justly in 
his power to give : it is, however, manifestly apparent that 
the English of these times were mainly determined right or 
wrong to oppress and keep under the Welsh, whose mortal 
dislike to subjection they had so frequently and so cruelly 
experienced. Prince Rh}-s was not ignorant of these 
wrongful and deceitful dealings of King Henry, but know- 
ing himself to be unable to redress these grievances, he 
thought it more advisable for a time to live in peace with a 
little than rashly to hazard all. In a short time, however, 
he had opportunity either of demanding redress from the 
king or of endeavouring to obtain it himself by force of 
arms : for as soon as Roger Earl of Clare was informed of 
the distribution which the king of England had granted to 
Prince Rhys, he came to King Henry, requesting his 
majesty to grant him such lands in Wales as he could win 
by force of arms. The king readily complied with his 
request, being always willing to grant any thing which 
tended to curb and incommode the Welsh ; and therefore 
the Earl of Clare marched with a great army into Cardigan, 
and having fortified the castles of Ystrad-Meyric, Humphrey, 
Dyfi, Dynerth, and Lhanrhystyd, he made several incur- 
sions into the country. In the same manner, Walter 
Clifford, who was governor of Lhanymdhyfri castle, made 
inroads into the territories of Prince Khys, and after he had 
slain several of the Welsh, and made great waste in the 
country, returned with considerable booty. 

Prince Rhys, as he was unable to bear these outrages, 
was resolved either to have immediate redress or else to 
proclaim open war against the English; and therefore he 



sent an express to King Henry, complaining of the hostilities 
which his subjects (the Earl of Clare and Walter Clifford) 
had committed in his country; but finding that the king 
put him still off with only smooth words and fair promises, 
and that he always winked at the faults of the English and 
Normans, he, without any farther consultation about the 
matter, laid siege to the castle of Lhanymdhyfri, and in a 
short time made himself master of it. Also Eineon, the 
son of Anarawd, Rhys's brother's son, and a person of great 
valour, being desirous to free his country from the miserable 
servitude they now groaned under, and judging withal that 
his uncle was now discharged from the oath he had lately 
sworn to the king of England, attacked the castle of 
Humphrey, and having forcibly made his entrance into it, 
he put all the garrison to the sword, where he found a great 
number of horses, and armour wherewith to equip a consi- 
derable body of men. Whilst Eineon was thus engaged at 
Humphrey's castle, Prince Rhys, perceiving that he could 
not enjoy any part of his inheritance but what he obtained 
by the sword, drew all his power together and entered 
Cardigan, where, like a violent torrent, he over-ran the 
country, so that he left not one castle standing of those 
which 'his enemies had fortified, and thus brought all the 
country to his subjection. King Henry being much of- 
fended at the progress which Prince Rhys so suddenly made 
against him, returned with a great army into South Wales,, 
but finding it to no purpose to attempt any thing against 
the Prince, he thought it more advisable to permit him to 
retain all that he had won, and only to take hostages* for 
his keeping peace during his absence out of the kingdom, 
which Prince Rhys promising to do, lie forthwith returned 
to England, and soon after went to Normandy, where he 
concluded a peace with the French king. 

The year following, Prince Rhys of South Wales, with- A. D. 1158. 
out any regard to his promise made to King Henry the 
preceding year, led his forces to Dyfed, destroyed all 
the castles that the Normans had fortified in that country, 
and then laid siege to Caermardhyn ; but Reynold Earl of 
Bristol, the king's illegitimate son, being informed of it, 
called together the Earl of Clare, his brother-in-law Cad- 
walader, Prince Owen of North Wales's brother, Howel 
and Conan (Owen's sons), with two Earls more, who with 
their joint forces marched to raise the siege. Prince Rhys 
was too prudent to abide their coming, and therefore, upon 


JVI 2 

* He was obliged to deliver up his iwo sons as pledges for his future obedience. 
Lord Lyttelton's Henry II. vol. ii. p. 79. 


the first intimation of such an opposition, he retired to the 
mountains called Cefn Rester and there encamped, being 
sufficiently secure from any enemy by the natural fortifica- 
tion of the place. The confederate army lay at Dynwylhir, 
and there built a castle ; but hearing no tidings of Prince 
Rhys, they returned home without effecting any thing of 
note.* King Henry was still in Normandy, and there made 
war against the Earl of St. Giles for the city and earldom 
of Tholouse. 

A.D. 1160. Towards the beginning of this year, Madoc ap Meredith 
ap Blethyn, Prince of Powys, died at Winchester, whence 
his body was honourably conveyed to Powys and buried at 
Meivod.f He was a Prince very much affected to piety 
and religion, very charitable to the necessitous, and benevo- 
lent to the distressed; but his great fault was, that he 
strove too hard for the interest of the English, and was 
always in confederacy with King Henry against the good 
success of his native country. He had issue by his wife 
Susanna, the daughter of Gruffydh ap Conan, Prince of 
North Wales, three sons, Gruftydh Maylor, Owen, and 
Elis, and a daughter named Marred. He had also three 
natural sons, Owen Brogynton, Cynwric Efelh, and Eineon 
Efelh, who though base born, yet according to the custom 
of Wales, co-inherited with their brethren who were 

And here it will not be amiss to give a particular account 
of that portion of the principality, afterwards known as the 
Lordships of Powys, how it came to be divided into many 
shares, and by that means became so irrecoverably broken 
and weakened, that it was made subject to the Normans 
before the rest of Wales ; for Powys before King Offa's 
time reached eastwards to the rivers Severn and Dee, in a 
right line from the end of Broxton hills to Salop, and com- 
prehended all the country between the Wye and Severn, 
which was anciently the estate of Brochwel Yscithroc, of 
whom mention has been made in this work : but after the 
making of Offa's dike, Powys was contracted into a narrower 
compass, the plain country towards Salop being inhabited 
by Saxons and Normans, so that the length of it com- 
mencing north-east from Pulford bridge extended to 
LlangiricJ parish on the confines of Cardiganshire to the 
south-west, and the breadth from the farthest part of 
Cyfeilioc westward, to Ellesmere on the east-side. This 


* Welsh Chron. p. 210. 

f Meivod in Montgomeryshire, the usual burying-place of his family. From this period 
the descendants of the princes of South Wales possessed no sovereign authority. 

J Llangerig. 


principality, Roderic the Great gave to his youngest son 
Merfyn, in whose posterity it remained entire, till the death 
of Blethyn ap Confyn, who divided it betwixt his sons 
Meredith and Cadwgan; yet it came again whole and 
entire to the possession of Meredith ap Blethyn, but he 
again broke the union, and left it between his two sons 
Madawc and Gruflfydh ; the first of whom was married to 
Susanna, the daughter of Gruffydh ap Conan, Prince of 
North Wales, and had with her that part, afterwards called 
by his name Powys Fadoc. After his death this lordship 
was divided also betwixt his sons Gruflfydh Maelor, Owen 
ap Madawc, and Owen Brogynton, which last, though base 
born, had, for his incomparable valour and courage, a share 
of his father's estate, namely, Edeyrneon and Dinmael, 
which he left to his sons Gruffydh, Blethyn, and lorwerth. 
Owen ap Madawc had to his portion Mechain-is-Coed, and 
had issue Lhewelyn and Owen Fychan. Gruffydh Maelor, 
the eldest son, Lord of Bromfield, had to his part, both the 
Maelors with Mochnant-is-Raydar, and married Angharad, 
the daughter of Owen Gwynedh, Prince of North Wales, 
by whom he had issue one son named Madawc, who held 
his father's inheritance entirely, and left it so to his only son 
Gruffydh, who was called Lord of Dinas Bran, because he 
lived in that castle: he married Emma, the daughter of 
James Lord Audley, by whom "he had issue Madawc, 
Lhewelyn, Gruffydh, and Owen. This Gruffydh ap 
Madawc took part with King Henry the Third and 
Edward the First against the Prince of North Wales ; and, 
therefore, for fear of the said prince, he was forced to keep 
himself secure within his castle of Dinas Bran, which being 
situated upon the summit of a very steep hill, seemed 
impregnable to all efforts that could be used against it. 
After his death, Edward the First dealt very unkindly with 
his children, who were of age to manage their own 
concerns ; and it nas been said that he caused two of them 
to be privately made away. He bestowed the wardship of 
Madoc, the eldest son, who had by his father's will the 
Lordships of Bromfield and Yale, with the reversion of 
Maelor Saesnec, Hopesdale, and Mouldsdale, his mother's 
jointure, on John Earl Warren ; and the wardship of 
Lhewelyn, to whose share fell the Lordships of Chirk e and 
Nanheudwy, he gave to Roger Mortimer, third son to 
Roger Mortimer the son of Ralph Mortimer, Lord Mor- 
timer of Wigmor : but Emma, Gruffydh's wife, having in 
her possession, for her dowry, Maelor Saesnec, Hopesdale, 
and Mouldsdale, with the presentation of Bangor rectory, 



and seeing two of her sons disinherited and put away, and 
the fourth dead without issue, and doubting lest Gruffydh 
her only surviving child should not long continue, she 
conveyed her estate to the Audleys, her own kindred, who 
getting possession of it, took the same from the king, and 
from them it came to the house of Derby, where it continued 
for a long time- till at length it was sold to Sir John 
Glynne, serjeant-at-law, in whose family it still remaineth. 
Earl Warren and Roger Mortimer forgetting w r hat signal 
service Gruffydh ap Madoc had performed for the king, 
guarded their new possessions with such caution and strict- 
ness, that they took especial care they should never return 
to any of the posterity of the legal proprietor ; and, there- 
fore, having obtained the king's patent, they began to 
secure themselves in the said lordships. John Earl War- 
ren commenced building Holt castle, which was finished by 
his son William, and so the Lordships of Bromfield and 
Yale continued in the name of the Earls of Warren for 
three descents, viz. John, William, and John, who dying 
without issue, the said lordships, together with the Earl- 
dom of Warren, descended to Alice, sister and heir to the 
last John Earl Warren, who was married to Edmond Fitz 
Alan, Earl of Arundel, in whose house they further 
remained for three descents, namely, Edmund, Richard, 
Richard his son, and Thomas Earl of Arundel; but for 
want of issue to this last, Thomas Earl of Arundel and 
Warren, the said lordships fell to two of his sisters, 
whereof one named Elizabeth, was married to Thomas 
Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, and the other called Joan, 
to William Beauchamp, Lord of Abergavenny : and 
subsequently they came to the hands of Sir William Stan- 
ley, Knight, who being attainted of high treason, they 
devolved by forfeiture to the crown, and now are annexed to 
the principality of Wales. Roger Mortimer, the other 
sharer in the lands of Gruffydh ap Madoc, was made 
Justice of North Wales, built the castle of Chirk, and 
married Lucia, the daughter and heir of Sir Robert de 
Wafre, Knight, by whom he had issue Roger Mortimer, 
who was married to Joan Tubervill, by whom he had John 
Mortimer, Lord of Chirk. This John sold the Lordship 
of Chirk to Richard Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel, Edmund's 
son, and so it was again annexed to Bromfield and Yale. 

The third son of Gruffydh Lord of Dinas Br&n, named 
also Gruffydh, had for his part Glyndwrdwy, which 
Gruffydh ap Gruffydh had issue Madoc Crupl, who was the 
father of Madoc Fychan, the father of Gruffydh, the father 



of Gruffydh Fychan, who was the father of Owen Glyndwr, 
who rebelling in the days of Henry the Fourth, Glyndwrdwy 
by confiscation came to the King, of whom it was afterwards 
purchased by Robert Salisbury of Rug, to whose descend- 
ants it still remaineth, having passed, through heirs female, 
into the family of Vaughan of Nannau. Owen, the fourth 
son of Gruffydh Lord of Dinas Bran, had for his share 
Cynlhaeth, with the rights and privileges thereunto belong- 
ing. The other part of Powys, comprehending the coun- 
tries of Arustly, Cyfeilioc, Lhannerch-hudol, Caereineon, 
Mochnant-uwch-Rhayadr, Mechain-uwch-Coed, Moudhwy, 
Deudhwr, Ystrad Marchelch, and Teir-Tref or the Three 
Towns, rightfully descended to Gruffydh ap Meredith ap 
Blethyn, by Henry the First created Lord Powys, who 
married Gweyrvyl or Weyrvyl the daughter of Urgene ap 
Howel ap lefaf ap Cadogan ap Athelstan Glodryth, by 
whom he had issue Owen surnamed Cyfeilioc. This Owen 
enjoyed his father's estate entire, and married Gwenlhian 
the daughter of Owen Gwynedh Prince of North Wales, 
who bore him one son, named Gwenwynwyn or Wenwyn- 
wyn, from whom that part of Powys was afterwards called 
Powys Wenwynwyn. He had also an illegitimate brother 
called Caswalhon, upon whom was bestowed the lands of 
Swydh Lhannerch-hudol, and Broniarth. Gwenwynwyn 
succeeded his father in all his estate, excepting the portion 
given to Caswalhon, and married Margaret the daughter 
of Rhys ap Theodore Prince of South Wales, by whom lie 
had Gruffydh ap Gwenwynwyn, who succeeding his father 
in all his possessions, had issue six sons, by Margaret the 
daughter of Robert Corbet, brother to Thomas Lord Corbet 
of Cause ; and so the entire estate of Gruffydh ap Meredith 
ap Blethyn Lord of Powys became scattered, and shred into 
various portions. Owen, Gruffydh ap Gwenwynwyn's 
eldest son, had for his part Arustly, Cyfeilioc, Lhannerch- 
hudol, and a part of Caereineon ; Lhewelyn had Mochnant- 
uwch-Rhayadr and Mechain-uwch-Coed ; John, the third 
son, had the fourth part of Caereineon; William had 
Moudhwy; Gruffydh Fychan had Deudhwr, Ystrat-Mar- 
chelh, and Teir Tref ; and David, the sixth and youngest 
son, had the other fourth part of Caereineon. Owen ap 
Gruffydh had issue only one daughter, named Hawys 
Gadarn, or the Hardy, whom he left his heir; but her 
uncles Lhewelyn, John, Gruffydh Fychan, and David, 
thinking it an easy matter to dispossess an orphan, claimed 
the lands of their brother Owen, alleging as the ground of 
their usurpation, that a woman was not capable of holding 



any lands in that country : but Hawys had friends in Eng- 
land, and her case was made known to King Edward the 
Second, who bestowed her in marriage upon a servant of 
his,* named John Charleton, termed Valectys domini regisrf 
who was bom at Apley near Wellington, in the county of 
Salop, anno one thousand two hundred and sixty-eight, and 
in her right the king created him Lord Powys. 

This John Charleton ,{ Lord Powys, being aided and sup- 
ported by the King of England, quickly set aside all the 
measures of his wife's uncles, and having taken Lhewelyn, 
John, and David, he put them in safe custody, in the king's 
castle of Harlech ; and then obtained a writ from the king 
to the sheriff of Shropshire, and to Sir Roger Mortimer, 
Lord of Chirkland and justice of North Wales, for the 
apprehension of Gruffydh Fychan, with his sons-in-law, Sir 
Roger Chamber and Hugh Montgomery, who were then in 
actual hostility against him and his wife Hawys : but 
Gruffydh Fychan and his accomplices doubting their own 
strength, and haying lost Thomas Earl of Lancaster, their 
main support, thought it most adviseable to submit them- 
selves to the king's pleasure, touching the difference betwixt 
them and Hawys ; who finding upon record that Gruffydh 
ap Meredith, ancestor to the said Hawys, upon his sub- 
mission to King Henry the First, became subject to the 
King of England, and thereupon was created Baron of 
Powys, which barony he and his posterity had ever since 
held in capite from the king, was of opinion that Hawys had 
more right to her father's possessions, now in their hands, 
than any pretence they could lay to her estate. To make, 
therefore, a final determination of this matter, and to com- 
pose the difference more amicably betwixt them, it was 
agreed that Hawys should enjoy her inheritance in fee- 
simple to her and her heirs for ever, after the tenure of 
England; and that her uncles Lhewelyn, John, David, and 


* A gentleman of his chamber, 
f Valectus regis : hence Valet. Yorke, p. 78. 

J He was, says Mr. Yorke, " the first lord of an English house, the son pf Sir Alan 
Charleton, a man of civil and military habits, had attended his sovereign, moreover, as 
his chamberlain in his frequent and unfortunate northern expeditions. He followed for 
a time then the reforming factions of Lancaster, the refuge and receptacle of all that were 
distressed and discontented ; was defeated and taken with them at Boroughbridge, but 
escaped the proscriptions which ensued ; came again into favour, and suffered in the 
insurrection against the king, when his house was pillaged by the London mob. Our old 
books speak of him in high esteem for his fidelity, prudence, and valour, nor amidst his 
greater employments had he neglected the interests and accommodation of his country- 
men ; and he obtained from Edward the Second two weekly markets at Pool and 
Machynlleth, and two fairs in the year at each place. He died in 1353, at the age of 
85 years. His wife, the Powys heiress, died some time before, and was buried in the 
dissolved house of the Grey Friars of her own foundation in Shrewsbury." Yorke's 
Royal Tribes, p\ 79. 


Gruffydh, should quietly enjoy their portion, and the same 
to descend to their heirs male perpetually ; but in default of 
such heirs male, the same was to descend to Hawys and her 
heirs : but William Lord of Moudhwy, the fourth brother, 
called otherwise Wilcock Moudhwy, because he did not 
join with the rest against Hawys, had all his lands confirmed 
to him, and to his heirs male and female for ever. He 
married Elianor, the sister of Ellen, Owen Glyndwr's 
mother, who was lineally descended from Rhys ap Theodore, 
Prince of South Wales, by whom he had issue John de 
Moudhwy; whose daughter Elizabeth, being heir to his 
whole estate, was married to Sir Hugh Burgh, knight. 
His son, Sir John Burgh, Lord of Moudhwy, married Jane 
the daughter of Sir William Clopton of Gloucestershire, by 
whom he had four daughters, Elizabeth, Ancreda, Isabel, 
and Elianor; the first of whom was married to Thomas 
Newport ; the second to John Leighton of Stretton ; the 
third to John Lingen ; and the younger to Thomas Mytton ; 
who, by equal distribution, had the lordship of Moudhwy 
and other estates of the Burghs divided betwixt them. 

John Charleton Lord of Powys had issue by his wife 
Hawys a son named John,* who enjoyed the same lordship 
for about seven years, and then left it to his son, of the same 
name, who w r as Lord of Powys fourteen years ; and then it 
descended to his son, called also John Charleton, who en- 
joyed his father's estate twenty-seven years; but dying 
without issue, the lordship of Powys fell to his brother 
Edward Charleton. This Edward had issue by his wife 
Elianor, the daughter and one of the heirs of Thomas Earl 
of Kent, and the widow of Roger Mortimer Earl of March, 
two daughters, Jane and Joyce ; the first of which was 
married to Sir John Grey, knight ; and the second to John 
Lord Tiptoft, whose son was by King Henry VI. created 
Earl of Worcester. After the death of Elianor, this Edward 
Lord Powys married Elizabeth the daughter of Sir John 
Berkeley, knight; and so after his death, which happened 
in the year 1420, the lordship of Powys was divided into 
three parts, whereof his widow Elizabeth had for her 
jointure Lhannerch-hudol, Ystrad Marchelh, Deudhwr, and 
Teir Tref, and was afterwards married to Lord Dudley; 
Jane, his eldest daughter, had Caereineon, Mechain, Moch- 
nant, and Plasdinas ; and Joyce had Cyfeilioc and Arustly ; 
but the lordship of Powys continued in the family of Sir 


* He was summoned to parliament from the 28th to the 47th of Edward the Third, 
was Chamberlain of the Household to this king, as his father had been to his predecessor, 
and attended him in that useless and expensive expedition to France in 1339, as he did 
his son the Black Prince in the same kingdom and to the same effect in 1375. 


John Grey for five descents, in right of his wife Jane ; the 
last of whom, Edward Grey, Lord Powys, married Anne, 
one of the daughters and co-heirs of Charles Brandon, Duke 
Dugdale of Suffolk, and died without any lawful issue. This Edward 
^m E H 1 ' Lord Pow y s > in 15 Henry VIII. accompanied the Duke of 
p. 284. Suffolk in the expedition then made into France, and was at 
the taking of Bray, and other places then won from the 
French. And in 36 Henry VIII. being again ready to 
march in the King's service, he made his last testament, 
whereby he settled the succession of his whole barony and 
lordship of Powys, his castle and manor of Pool, with divers 
other lordships in the county of Montgomery, and all the 
rest of his estate in the county of Salop, upon the heirs of 
his own body lawfully begotten or to be begotten ; and in 
default of such issue, his castle and manor of Charleton and 
Pontesbury in Shropshire, upon Jane Orwell, daughter of 
Sir Lewis Orwell, knight, and her assigns, during her 
natural life ; and in case he should die without any issue of 
his own body lawfully begotten, that then Edward Grey, 
his illegitimate son by the same Jane Orwell, should have 
and enjoy his said barony and manor of Powys, his castle 
and manor of Pool, and all other his lordships in the county 
of Montgomery ; with the reversion of the castle and manor 
of Charleton and Pontesbury, to him and his heirs lawfully 
begotten ; and for lack of such issue, to remain to that child, 
in case it should be a son, wherewith the same Jane Orwell 
was then great by him, and to the heirs of his body lawfully 
begotten : but if it should not prove a son, or if the son die 
without issue, then that the whole barony of Powys, and all 
the premises before-mentioned, should come to Jane Grey, 
his daughter, and to the heirs of her body lawfully begotten ; 
and for lack of such issue, to Anne Grey, his other daugh- 
ter, and the heirs of her body lawfully begotten; and 
lastly, for default of such issue, to such woman-child as 
should be born of the body of the said Jane Orwell. After 
the death of Edward Grey, the title of Lord of Powys lay 
extinct to the fifth year of King Charles I. when Sir William 
Herbert, son of Sir Edward Herbert, of Redcastle (anciently 
called Pool Castle, now Powys Castle), in the county of 
Montgomery, second son to William Earl of Pembroke, to 
whom the castle had come by purchase, was advanced to the 
dignity of a baron of the realm, by the title of Lord Powys 
of Powys, in the marches of Wales ; in whose descendants it 
still continues, though the title has been changed from a 
baron to an earl, and subsequently to a marquis and a duke, 
afterwards to an earl, and then by a new creation to an earl 
again, in the person of Edward Lord Clive now Earl of 



Powys, whose wife was sister and heir to the last Earl of 
Powys of the Herbert family. 

About the same time that Madoc ap Meredith Prince of 
Powys died, Cadwalhon ap Madawc ap Ednerth, who had 
been for some considerable time at variance with his brother 
Eineon Clyd, was taken prisoner by him, who delivered him 
up to Owen Prince of North Wales ; but the prince being 
willing to gratify the King of England, whose interest 
Cadwalhon had as much as in him lay opposed, sent him to 
the king's officers to be imprisoned at Winchester; from 
whence he quickly found means to escape : and by the ad- 
vice of the rest of his brethren he returned home to his 
country. King Henry continued all this while in Nor- 
mandy, and during his stay there, a match was agreed upon 
betwixt his son Henry and Margaret daughter to Lewis 
King of France : but this new alliance did not prevent these 
two monarchs from falling at variance with each other, 
which happened the year following; and thereupon King 
Henry marched with his army into Gascoyne, to quell 
certain rebels, who upon first notice of this breach between 
the two kings were up in arms against the English. The 
next year a peace was again concluded, and so all things A.D. 1161. 
returned to their former state of amity and quietness. 

It was not so, however, in Wales ; for Howel the son of 
levaf ap Cadwgan ap Athelstan Glodryth, having got into 
his hands the castle of Walwern in Cyfeilioc, razed it to the 
ground, which so incensed Prince Owen,* who was owner 
of it, that nothing could allay his fury, till he had drawn his 
forces together, and made an incursion into Lhandinam in 
Arustly, HowePs country ; which he cruelly harassed, and 
carried away considerable booty. The people of the country 
perceiving these devastations of the North Wales men, came 
together to the number of three hundred men, offering their 
service to their natural lord, Howel ap levaf, who, upon this 
addition of strength, followed the enemy to the banks of 
Severn, where they were encamped. Prince Owen, finding 
them to march after him, was glad of the opportunity to be 
further revenged upon Howel; and so turning suddenly 
upon them, he slew about two hundred men; the rest 
narrowly escaping with Howel to the woods and rocks. 
Owen being more joyful for the revenge he had taken of 
Howel, than for any victory he had gained, rebuilt 
Walwerh castle, and having well fortified and manned it, 
returned home to North Wales. 

The year following, the like thing happened; Owen the iiea. 


* He was styled Owen Cyveilioc, and had a district called by that name, which 
contained nearly half of PowyB. Welsh Chron. pp.210, 211. 


son of Gruffydh ap Meredith, commonly called Owen 
Cyfeilioc o Wynedh, together with Owen ap Madawc ap 
Meredith and Meredith ap Howel, set upon Carreghofa* 
castle near Oswestry, and having overpowered the garrison, 
committed great waste and destruction therein. About the 
same time, a singular quarrel happened in England; Robert 
Mountford and Henry de Essex, who had both fought 
against the Welsh upon the marches and fled, began now to 
impeach each other as being the first occasion of flying. 
The dispute was to be tried by single combat, in which 
being engaged Henry was overcome; and for his falsely 
accusing Robert, he was sentenced to have his estate for- 
feited, and then having his crown shorn, he was entered a 
monk at Redding. Within a little time after, King Henry, 
calling to mind what Prince Rhys had committed during 
his absence from the kingdom, drew up a great army 
against South Wales, and having marched as far as Pen- 
cadyr, near Brecknock, Rhts met him and did his homage ; 
and delivering up hostages for his future behaviour, f he 
stopped the king's progress, so that thence he returned to 
England. After the king's departure, two very unhappy 
affairs occurred in Wales ; Eineon the son of Anarawd ap 
Gruffydh, nephew to Prince Rhys, being villainously mur- 
dered in his bed by his own servant, called Walter ap 
Lhywarch ; as also Cadwgan ap Meredith, in like manner, 
by one Walter ap Riccart : but the loss of his nephew 
Prince Rhys made up, by possessing himself of that large 
country called Cantref Mawr, and the land of Dynefawr, 
which he afterwards enjoyed. Of men of learning there 
died this year, Cadifor ap Daniel, Archdeacon of Cardigan ; 
and Henry ap Arthen, the greatest scholar that had 
flourished in Wales for many years. 

A. D. lies. The next year, a total rupture broke forth betwixt the 
English and Welsh ; Prince Rhys,} a man of an active and 
uncontroulable spirit, being now aware by experience that 
he could not sustain the greatness of his quality, with such 
lands as the King of England had allotted him, made an 
invasion into the Lordship of Roger de Acre, Earl of 
Gloucester; being moved thereto, in a great measure, by 
reason that his nephew Anarawd ap Gruffydh was murdered 
at that Earl's instigation. Having advanced with a strong 
army into the Earl of Gloucester's estate, without any great 
opposition he took Aberheidol castle, with those be- 
longing to the sons of Wyhyaon, which he rased to the 


* Garreg Hova, six miles from Oswestry, in the parish of Llanymynech, which part of 
that parish lies in the county of Denbigh. 

f Welsh Chron.p. 220. J Rhys ap Gryffydh. 

On the conflux of the rivers Rheidol and Ystwyth. 


ground. Thence he marched to Cardigan, bringing all 
that country under his subjection; and from thence he 
marched against the Flemings, whose country he cruelly 
harassed with fire and sword. The rest of the estates of 
Wales, perceiving Prince Rhys to prosper so successfully 
against the English, thought they might equally succeed, 
and shake off the English yoke, by which they were un- 
reasonably oppressed. Therefore they unanimously agreed 
to cast off their subjection to the English, whose tyranny 
they could no longer bear, and to put over them princes of 
their own nation, whose superiority they could better 
tolerate, and so this year concluded with making suitable 
preparations for the following campaign. 

As soon as the time of year for action was advanced, A. D. 1164. 
David, son of Owen, Prince of North Wales, fell upon 
Flintshire, which pertained to the King of England ; and 
carrying off all the people and cattle with him, brought 
them to Dyffryn Clwyd, otherwise Ruthyn-land.* King 
Henry understanding this, gathered together his forces, and 
with all speed marched to defend both his subjects and 
towns from the incursions and depredations of the Welsh. 
Being come to Rhuddlan or Rhuthlan and encamped there 
three days, he soon perceived he could effect no great 
measure, because his army was not sufficiently numerous ; 
and, therefore, he thought it most advisable to return back 
to England, and to augment his forces, before he should 
attempt any thing against the Welsh :f and accordingly he 
levied the most chosen men throughout all his dominions 
of England, Normandy, Anjou, Gascoyne, and Guienne, 
besides obtaining aid from Flanders and Britanriy, and then 
set forward for North Wales, purposing to destroy without 
mercy every living thing he could possibly meet with ; and 
being advanced as far as Croes-Oswalt, called Oswestry, he 
encamped there. On the other side, Prince Owen and his 
brother Cadwalader, with all the strength of North Wales; 
Prince Rhys with those of South Wales ; Owen Cyfeilioc 
and Madawc ap Meredith with all the power of Powys ; the 
two sons of Madawc ap Ednerth, with the people living 
betwixt the rivers of Severn and Wye, met together, and 
pitched their camp at Corwen in Edeymeon, intending 
unanimously to defend their country against the King of 
England. King Henry understanding that they were so 
near, was very desirous to come to battle ; and to that end 
he removed to the banks of the river Ceiriog,J causing all 


* WeIshChron.p.221. 

f Brompton Chron. sub ann. 1165. Chronica Gervasii, p. 1398. Giraldus Cambrensis 
Itin. lib. ii. cap. 10. 

J A river in the county of Denbigh, which runs through a vale of that name. 


the woods thereabouts to be cut down, for fear of any 
ambushment lurking therein, and for a more clear prospect 
of the enemy :* but some of the Welsh took advantage of 
this opportunity, and being well acquainted with the pas- 
sage, without the knowledge of their officers, fell upon the 
king's guard, where all the pikemen were posted; and after 
a hot skirmish, several were slain on both sides : in the end, 
however, the king won the passage, and so marched on to 
the mountain of Berwyn, where he lay some time without 
any hostility on either side, both armies standing in fear of 
each other. The English kept the open plains, and were 
afraid to be entrapped in the straits and narrow passages ; 
and the Welsh on the other hand watched the advantage of 
the place ; and observed the English so narrowly, that 
neither forage or victuals could pass to the king's camp ; 
and what augmented the misery of the English army, there 
happened to fall a tremendous rain, that overflowed their 
encampment, in so much that with the slipperiness of the 
hills, the soldiers could scarcely stand ; eventually King 
Henry was forced to decamp, and after a very considerable 
loss of men and ammunition, besides the great charges of 
this expedition, was compelled to return back to England. 
To express how much dissatisfaction he entertained at this 
enterprize, he in a great fury caused to be plucked out the 
eyes of the hostages, that he had some time before received 
from the Welsh; which were Rhys and Cadwalhon, the 
sons of Owen Prince of North Wales, and Cynric and 
Meredith, the sons of Rhys of South Wales. f Some 
write, that in assailing a bridge, in this expedition, the 
king was in no small danger of his life : one of the Welsh 
having aimed directly at him, would have pierced him 
through the body, had not Hubert de Clare, Constable of 
Colchester, who perceived the arrow coming, thrust himself 
betwixt the king and it, although to the loss of his own 

Though King Henry was shamefully forced to return to 
England, yet he did not give up the idea of subduing the 
Welsh ; and therefore, after a long consultation, he made a 
third expedition into Wales, conveying his army by sea as 
far as Chester. There he staid for some time, till all his 


* Welsh Chron. p. 221. 

f Holinshead's Chron. p. 73, says that, " besides those above-mentioned, he caused the 
sons and daughters of several lords to be treated with the same severity, ordering the 
eyes of the young striplings to be pecked out of their heads, and the ears of the young 
gentlewomen to be stuffed." 

t Welsh Chron. p. 222. Holinshead's Chron. p. 73, says, " This accident happened at 
the siege of Bridgenorth." 


fleet, as well those ships that he had hired out of Ireland as 
his own, were arrived : but when they were all come together 
and got safely to Chester, his mind was altered; and 
instead of a design against Wales, he unexpectedly dismissed 
his whole army. Prince Rhys was glad of this opportunity, 
and therefore withdrawing his forces from the confederate 
army, he marched to the siege of Aberteifi castle, which 
being surrendered to him, he rased it to the ground. From 
thence he got before Cilgerran,* which he used after the 
same manner, and therein took prisoner Robert the son of 
Stephen, his cousin-german, who was the son of Nest his 
aunt, and who after the death of Gerald had married Stephen 
Constable. The joy of these successes on the part of the 
Welsh was somewhat clouded by the death of Lhewelyn, 
son of Owen Prince of North Wales, a person of great 
worth, and exceedingly well beloved of all his countrymen. 

The Welsh being now somewhat secure from any inva- A, D. 1165. 
sion from the English, there rose up another enemy to 
create them disturbance; the Flemings and Normans, find- 
ing the English had failed in their attempt against the 
Welsh, thought they might with better success invade and 
subdue them; and therefore they came to West Wales 
with a great army, and laid siege to the castle of Cilgerran, 
which Rhys had lately fortified; but after two different 
assaults, they were manfully beat back and forced to depart 
home again : however, what the Flemings could not effect 
against the Welsh in South Wales the Welsh easily brought 
about against the English in North Wales; for Prince 
Owen having besieged Basingwerk castle, then in the pos- 
session of the king of England, without much time spent, 
made himself master of it.f It was, however, always the 
misfortune of the Welsh, that when they found themselves 
secure from any enemy abroad, they were sure to quarrel 
and fall out at home ; though indeed it could not be other- 
wise expected, where so many petty states endeavoured to 
surmount and outvie each other. Now, therefore, when all 
things went very successfully on their side, in opposition to 
the English, two ambitious persons began to kindle a flame 
in the bosom of their own country : Owen Cyfeilioc, the son 
of Gruflfydh ap Meredith Lord of Powys, and Owen Fychan, 
second son to Madawc ap Meredith, forcibly dispossessed 
lorwerth Goch of his estate in Powys, which they divided 
betwixt themselves, Mochnan-uwch-Rayader to Owen 
Cyfeilioc, and Mochnant-is-Rayader to Owen Fychan : but 


* Situated on the banks of the river Tivi, near Caerdigan. 
t Welsh Chron. p. 223. 


A.D. 1166. the rest of the princes of Wales could not brook this injury 
done to lorwerth Goch ; and therefore Owen Prince of 
North Wales, with his brother Cadwalader, and Rhys 
Prince of South Wales, went with an army into Powys 
against Owen Cyfeilioc,* and, having chased him out of the 
country, they bestow r ed Caereineon upon Owen Fychan, to 
hold it of Prince Owen ; and Rhys had Walwern, by reason 
that it lay near his own territories.f Within a while after, 
Owen Cyfeilioc returned with a numerous band of Normans 
and English along with him, and laid siege to the castle of 
Caereineon, which he burnt to the ground : but the loss of 
this place was made up by the taking of Rhuddlan castle, 
which Owen, Rhys, and Cadwalader jointly besieged ; 
and which was so strongly fortified, and so manfully 
defended, that it cost them three months before they could 
1176. make themselves masters of the place. Afterwards they 
won the castle of Prestatyn, and reduced the whole country 
of Tegengl subject to Prince Owen ; and then returned 
home to their respective dominions. Henceforward nothing 
of moment was transacted during the remainder of Prince 
Owen's reign, only his son Conan most unmercifully slew 
Urgency, Abbot of Lhwythlawr, together with his nephew 

1168. Lhawthen : but a little after, Prince Rhys of South Wales 
released out of prison his nephew Robert, son to Stephen 
Constable, whom, as is said before, he had taken at the 
siege of Cilgerran castle, and sent him to Ireland to the aid 
of Dermot, the son of Murchart, King of Leinster, who was 
then in actual war with the King of Leinster. With him 
and his brother Morris Fitz-Gerald, and their nephews 
Robert, Meyler, and Raymond, went over a strong detach- 
ment of Welshmen, under the command of Richard Strong- 
bow, Earl of Strigul, who were the chief movers of the 
conquest of Ireland, when it was first brought in subjection 
to the crown of England. 

1169. But the next year, Owen Gwynedh, son of Gruflfydh ap 
Conan, Prince of North Wales, departed this life in the 
thirty-second year of his reign.:}: He was a wise and valour- 
ous prince, ever fortunate and victorious in all his under- 
takings, insomuch that he never undertook any design but 
what he accomplished. He had by different women several 
children, who got themselves greater esteem by their valour, 
than by their birth and parentage. He had by Gwladus, 


* Welsh Chron. pp. 223, 2-24. 

f Brit. Ant. Reviv. by Vaughan of Hengwrt, pp. 5, 6. 

J He was buried in the cathedral church of Bangorj and had by different women 
twenty-one children. 


the daughter of Lhywarch ap Trahaern ap Caradoc, lorwerth 
Drwyndwn, or lorwerth with the broken nose, Conan, 
Maelgon, and Gwenlhian; by Christian the daughter of 
Grono ap Owen ap Edwyn, he had David, Roderic,* 
Cadwalhon abbot of Bardsey, and Angharad afterwards 
married to Gruffydh Maylor. He had by other women 
several other children, as Conan, Lhewelyn, Meredith, 
Edwal, Rhun, Howel, Cadelh, Madawc, Eineon, Cynwric, 
Philip, and Ryrid Lord of Clochran in Ireland. OfHhese, 
Rhun, Lhewelyn, and Cynwric died before their father; and 
the rest will be mentioned in the sequel of this history. f 


X RINCE Owen Gwynedh being dead, the succession 
should of right have descended to his eldest legitimate son, 
lorwerth Drwyndwn, otherwise called Edward with the 
broken nose ; but by reason of that blemish upon his face, 
he was laid aside as unfit to take upon hirii the government 
of North Wales.J Therefore his younger brothers began 
every one to aspire, in hopes of succeeding their father; but A.D. 1170. 
Howel, who was of all the eldest, but base born, begotten 
of an Irish woman, finding they could not agree, stept in 
himself and took upon him the government. David, how- 
ever, who was legitimately born, could riot brook that a 
bastard should ascend his father's throne; and therefore 
he made air the preparations possible to remove him. 
Howel on the other hand was determined to maintain his 
ground, and was not willing thus to deliver up what he so 
recently got possession of; and so both brothers meeting 
together in the field, were resolved to try their title by the 
point of the sword. The battle had not lasted long before 
Howel was slain ; and then David was unanimously pro- 
claimed and acknowledged Prince of North Wales, which 
principality he enjoyed without any molestation, till Lhe- 
welyn, lorwerth Drwyndwn's son, came of age, as will 
hereafter appear. It is said that Madawc, another of Owen 
Gwynedh's sons, perceiving these contentions among his 



* Lord of Anglesey. f History of Gwedir family, p. 3. 

J He had however assigned him, for his maintenance, a part of his father's inheritance : 
the cantrevs of Kanconwy and Ardudwy ; and resided at the caslle of Dolwyddelan, 
situate in the county of Carnarvon. -History of Gwedir family, p. 7. This prince was 
afterwards obliged to take sanctuary at Pennant Melangel in Montgomeryshire, where he 

Welsh Chron p. 227. Memoir of Gwedir family,'p. 7. 


brothers for the principality, and that his native country was 
likely to be embroiled in a civil war, deemed it more pru- 
dent to try his fortune abroad ; and therefore departing from 
North Wales when it was in this unsettled condition, he 
sailed with a small fleet of ships, which he had rigged and 
manned for that purpose, to the westward; and leaving 
Ireland on the north, he came at length to an unknown 
country, where most things appeared to him new and un- 
common, and the manner of the natives far different to what 
he had seen in Europe. This country, says the learned H. 
Lhuyd, must of necessity be some part of that vast tract of 
ground of which the Spaniards, since Hanno's time, boast 
themselves to be the first discoverers ; and which, by order 
of cosmography, seems to be some part of Nova Hispania 
or Florida ; whereby it is manifest that this country was 
discovered by the Britons, long before either Columbus 
or Americus Vesputius sailed thither: but concerning 
Madawc's voyage to this country, and afterwards his return 
from thence, there be many fabulous stories and idle tales 
invented by the vulgar, who are sure never to diminish from 
what they hear, but generally add to any fable as far as 
their invention will prompt them. However, says the same 
author, it is certain that Madawc arrived in this country, 
and after he had viewed the fertility and pleasantness of it, 
he thought it expedient to invite more of his countrymen 
out of Britain ; and therefore leaving most of those he had 
already taken with him behind, he returned for Wales. 
Being arrived there, he informed his friends what a fair and 
extensive land he had met with, void of any inhabitants, 
whilst they employed all their skill to supplant one another, 
only for a rugged portion of rocks and mountains; and 
therefore he persuaded them to change their present state of 
danger and continual bickering for a place where they should 
have ease and enjoyment : and having thus got a consider- 
able number of the Welsh together, he bade a final adieu to 
his native country, and sailed with ten ships back to those 
he had left behind. It is therefore to be supposed, says our 
author, that Madawc and his people inhabited part of that 
country, since called Florida, by reason that it appears from 
Francis Loves, an author of no small reputation, that in 
Acusanus and other places, the people honoured and wor- 
shipped the cross ; whence it may be naturally concluded 
that Christians had been there before the coming of the 
Spaniards; and who these Christians might be, unless it 
were this colony said to be planted by Madawc, cannot be 
easily imagined : but by reason that the Welsh who went 



over were few in number, they intermixed in a few years 
with the natives of the country, and so following their man- 
ners and using their language, they became at length un- 
distinguishable from the barbarians. The country which 
Madawc landed in, is, by the learned Dr. Powel, supposed 
to be part of Mexico : for which conjecture he lays down 
these following reasons : first, because it is recorded in the 
Spanish chronicles of the conquest of the West Indies, that 
the inhabitants and natives of that country affirm by tradition 
that their rulers descended from a strange nation, which 
came thither from a strange country, as it was confessed by 
King Montezuma, in a speech at his submission to the King 
of Castile, before Hernando Cortez, the Spanish general : 
and further because the British words and names of places 
used in that country, even at this day, undoubtedly denote 
the same ; for when they speak and converse together, they 
use this British word Gwrando, which signifies to hearken 
or listen ; and a certain bird with a white head, they call 
Pengwyn, which signifies the same in Welsh : but for a 
more complete confirmation of this, the island of Coorooso, 
the cape of Bryton, the river of Gwyndor, and the white 
rock of Pengwyn, which are all British words, do manifestly 
shew that it was that country which Madawc and his people 

As soon as the troubles of North Wales were over, and 

N 2 

* An additional proof is, the purport of a Letter to Dr. Jones, of Hammersmith, from 
his brother in America : " In the year 1797, a Welsh tradesman on the river Monanga- 
hala, near Petersburgh, went down to the Ohio, and from thence up the Mississipi 
to within 60 miles of the Missouri, to a town called Mazores. In the month of April, as he 
chanced to be out among some Indians, he overheard two conversing about some skins 
they had to sell or exchange, and from a word or two conceived their language to be 
Welsh ; he listened for a few minutes and became convinced, though much corrupted 
from its primitive purity. Notwithstanding, he resolved to endeat'our to converse with 
them, and, to his great astonishment, found themselves mutually understood, with the 
exception of some words either original or obsolete in Wales. He describes them to be 
of a robust stature, and dressed from head to foot in the skins of some animals, but no 
kind of shirts; their complexion was of a copper colour similar to other Indians, with 
strong black hair, but no beard except about the mouth. By them he understood they 
came from a long way up the Missouri, and had been about, three months coming to the 
place where he found them. In consequence of the proceeding, John Evans, a young man 
M'ell acquainted with the language, has been in quest of the Welsh Indians, but without 
success, not having penetrated more than 900 miles up the Missouri, being compelled to 
return in consequence of a war among the natives. It is conjectured that our Cambro- 
Indians inhabit a territory nearly 1800 or 2000 miles up that river. A second trial was 
meditated, but before it was executed John Evans died, consequently no new discovery 
has been attempted." 

In the Gentleman's Magazine of October, 1828, published by Nichols and Son, 25, 
Parliament Street, London, we find the following account: "A tribe of Americans, 
about the 40th degree of north latitude, and the 45th west longitude, are said to possess 
many curious manuscripts about an island named Brydon, from which their ancestors 
long since came. Their language resembles the Welsh, and their religion is a sort of 
mixed Christianity and Druidism. They know the use of letters, and are very fond of 


A.D. 1171. Prince David was securely settled in his throne, a storm fell 
upon Powys : for Owen Cyfeilioc, the lord of the country, 
had always, as much as in him lay, opposed the interest and 
advantage of Rhys Prince of South Wales; upon which 
account Prince Rhys came with a great army against Powys, 
and having subdued Owen Cyfeilioc his enemy, he was yet 
so favourable to him, that upon his delivering him pledges 
for his future behaviour, he immediately departed out of 
Powys, and returned with much honour to South Wales. 
The states of Britain being now all at perfect rest and amity 
with each other, the scene of action removed to Ireland ; for 
Henry King of England having called together all his 
nobility, consulted with them about the Irish expedition, 
which had already been determined upon. To this con- 
sultation there came some messengers from Richard Strong- 
bow Earl of Strigule, Marshal of England, to deliver up to 
the king's hands the city of Dublin, the town of Waterford, 
with all such towns and castles as he got in right of his wife ; 
whereupon the king restored to him all his lands both in 
England and Normandy, and created him Lord Steward 
of Ireland, for this Earl of Strigule had very lately, 
without obtaining the king's permission, gone over to 
Ireland, and had married the daughter of Dermott King of 
Dublin ; at which King Henry was so indignant, that he 
immediately seized upon all his lands in England and Nor- 
mandy. Therefore the king having now some footing in 
Ireland, the expedition was unanimously concurred in ; and 
the king having commenced his journey, was, on coming 
towards Wales, received by Prince Rhys, at whose sub- 
mission the king was so much pleased, that he confirmed to 
him all his lands in South Wales. In return for the king's 
favour, Rhys promised to his majesty three hundred horses 
and four thousand oxen towards the conquest of Ireland ; 
for the sure payment of which he delivered fourteen pledges. 
Then King Henry, marching forward, came to Caerlheon 
upon Ubk, and entering the town, dispossessed the right 
owner, lorwerth ap Owen ap Caradoc, and kept it for his 
own use, placing a garrison of his own men therein : but 
lorwerth was not so submissive as to endure tamely this 
injustice of the king ; and therefore departing in great fury 
from the king's presence, he called to him his two sons 
Owen and Howel (whom he had by Angharad the daughter 
of Uchtryd bishop of Llandaff), and his sister's son Morgan 


music and poetry. They still call themselves Brydones. It is generally believed that 
they are descendants of some wandering Britons, expelled from home about the time of 
the Saxons, and carried by wind and current to the great continent of the west, into the 
heart of which they have been driven back by successive encroachments of modern 
settler*." P. 359. 


ap Sitsylt ap Dyfnwal, and bringing together all the forces 
they were able, upon the king's departure they entered the 
country, and committing all kinds of waste and destruction 
as they proceeded, they at last came before Caerlheon, 
which town they took and despoiled in the like manner, 
destroying whatever they could meet with ; so that nothing 
escaped their fury, excepting the castle, which they could 
not obtain. The king was in the mean time upon his journey 
to Pembroke, where being accompanied by Prince Rhys, he 
gave him a grant of all Cardigan, Ystratywy, Arustly, and 
Elvil, in recompence of the civilities and honour that he 
had done to him ; and so Rhys returned to Aberteifi, a town 
he had lately won from the Earl of Gloucester, and there 
having prepared his present, about the beginning of October 
he returned again to Pembroke, having ordered eighty-six 
horses to follow him ; which being presented to the king, he 
accepted of thirty-six of the choicest, and returned the rest 
with great thanks. The same day King Henry went to St. 
David's, and after he had offered to the memory of that 
saint, he dined with the bishop, who was the son of Gerald, 
cousin-german to Rh$ T s ; and to this place Richard Strong- 
bow Earl of Strygule came from Ireland to confer with the 
king. Within a while after, King Henry being entertained 
by Rhys at the White House, restored to him his son 
Howel, who had been for a considerable time detained as a 
pledge, and appointed him a certain day for payment of 
tribute, at which time all the rest of the pledges should be 
set at liberty.* The day following, being the next after the 
feast of St. Luke, the king went on board, and the wind 
blowing very favourably, set sail for Ireland, and being 
safely arrived upon those coasts, he landed at Dublin; 
where he rested for that whole winter, in order to make 
greater preparations against the following campaign. 

The change of the air and the nature of the climate, how- 
ever, occasioned such a distemper and infection among the 
soldiers, that to prevent the loss of his whole army, the king A. D. 11.72. 
was forced to return with all speed to England ; and having 
shipped off all his army and effects, he loosed anchor, and 
landed in Wales in the Passion-week next year, and coming 
to Pembroke, he staid there on Easter-day, and then pro- 
ceeded upon his journey towards England. Rhys, Tiearing 
of the king's return, was very solicitous to pay him his 
devotion, and to be one of the first who should welcome him 
over; and, meeting with him at Talacharn,* he performed all 

* Welsh Chron. pp. 230, 231. f Talacharn, or Tal y earn, 


the ceremonies of duty and allegiance.* Then the king 
passed on, and as he came from Caerdyf, by the new castle 
upon Usk, meaning to leave Wales in a peaceable condition, 
he sent for lorwerth ap Owen ap Caradoc, who was the 
only person in open enmity against him (and that upon very 
just ground), requiring him to come and treat about a 
peace, and assuring him of a safe conduct for himself, his 
sons, and all the rest of his associates. lorwerth was 
willing to accept of the proposal, and thereupon set forward 
to meet the king, having sent an express to his son Owen, a 
valourous young gentleman, to meet him by the way. Owen, 
according to his father's orders, set forward on his journey, 
with a small retinue, without any kind of arms or weapons of 
war, as thinking it needless to burden himself with such 
carriage, when the king had promised him a safe conduct : 
but he did not find it so safe ; for as he passed the new 
castle upon Uske,f the Earl of Bristol's men, who were 
garrisoned therein, laid in wait for him as he came along, 
and setting upon him in a cowardly manner, they slew him 
with most of his company. Some few, however, escaped to 
acquaint his father Torwerth of this treacherous action, who 
hearing that his son was so basely murdered, contrary to the 
king's absolute promise of a safe passage, without any farther 
consultation about the matter, presently returned home with 
Howel his son, and all his friends, and would not put trust 
or confidence in any thing that the King of England or any 
of his subjects promised to do : but, on the contrary, to 
avenge the death of his son, who was so cowardly cut off, he 
immediately raised all the forces that himself and the rest of 
his friends were able to do, and entering into England, he 
destroyed with fire and sword all the country, to the gates of 
Hereford and Gloucester. { The king was so intent upon 
his journey, that he seemed to take no great notice of w r hat 
lorwerth was doing ; and, therefore, having by commission 
constituted Lord Rhys Chief Justice of all South Wales, he 
forthwith took his journey to Normandy. About this time 
died Cadwalader ap Gruffydh, the son of GrufFydh ap 
Conan, sometime Prince of North Wales, who by his wife 
Alice, the daughter of Richard Clare Earl of Gloucester, 
had issue, Cunetha, Radulph, and Richard ; and by other 
women, Cadfan, Cadwalader, Eineon, Meredith Goch, and 
Cadwalhon. Towards the end of this year Sitsylht ap 
Dyfnwal, and lefan ap Sitsylht ap Riryd, surprised the 


* WelshChron.p.232. 
f The present Newport, in Monmouthshire. 

J Welsh Chron. p. 232. 
British Antiquities Revived, by Vaughan of Hengwrt, p. 23. 


castle of Abergavenny, which belonged to the King of Eng- 
land, and having made themselves masters of it, they took 
the whole garrison prisoners.* 

The following year, there happened a very great quarrel A. D. 1173. 
betwixt King Henry and his son of the same name ; this 
latter being upholden by the queen (his mother), his 
brothers Geoffrey and Richard, the French King, the Earl 
of Flanders, together with the Ear. of Chester, William 
Patrick, and several other valiant knights and gentlemen : 
but the old king having a stout and faithful army, consisting 
of Almanes and Brabanters, was not in the least dismayed at 
such a seeming storm ; and what made him more bold and 
adventurous, he was joined by a strong party of Welshmen, 
which Lord Rhys had sent him, under the command of his 
son Howel. King Henry overthrew his enemies in divers 
encounters, and having either killed or taken prisoners most 
of those that had risen up against him, he easily dissipated 
the cloud which at first seemed so black and threatening, 
lorwerth ap Owen was not sorry to see the English falling 
into dissentions among themselves; and, therefore, taking 
advantage of such a seasonable opportunity, he drew his 
army against Caerlheon, which held out very obstinately 
against him. After many warm encounters lorwerth at 
length prevailed, and entering the town by force, he took 
most of the inhabitants prisoners ; and then laying siege to 
the castle, it was surrendered in exchange for the prisoners 
he had taken in the town. Howel his son at the same time 
was busy in Gwent-is-Coed ; f and having reduced all that 
country, excepting the castle, to subjection, he took pledges 
of the inhabitants to be true and faithful to him, and to 
withdraw their allegiance from the King of England. At 
the same time, something of importance passed in North 
Wales ; for David ap Owen Gwynedh, Prince of North 
Wales, bringing an army over the river Menai into Angle- 
sey, against his brother Maelgon, who kept that island from 
him, he forced the latter to make his escape to Ireland ; oil 
his return from whence, the following year, he was acci- 
dentally discovered and seized, and then by his brother's 
orders committed to close prison. Prince David having 
brought the isle of Anglesey to its former state of sub- 
jection to him, determined to remove all obstacles that 
appeared likely to endanger its falling off from him; and 
these he judged to be his own nearest relations, and there- 
fore he expelled and banished all his brethren and cousins 1174. 
out of his territories of North Wales: but before this 


* Welsh Chron. p. 234. f Tn Monmouthshire. 


sentence was put in execution, his brother Conan died, and 
so escaped the ignominy of being banished his native country 
for no other reason but the jealousy of an ambitious brother. 
About the same time, Howel the son of lorwerth ap 
Owen of Caerlheon, took prisoner his uncle O\\enPencarn, 
who was right heir of Caerlheon and Gwent; and thus 
having secured him, in order to prevent his getting any 
children to inherit those places which himself was next heir 
to, he first directed his eyes to be pulled out, and then that 
he should be castrated : but vengeance did not permit such 
a base action to go unpunished ; for upon the Saturday 
following, a great army of Normans and Englishmen came 
unexpectedly before the town, and took both it and the 
castle, notwithstanding all the opposition which Howel and 
his father lorwerth made ; though this last was not privy to 
his son's cruel action. About the same time King Henry 
came over to England, and a little after his arrival, William 
King of Scots, and Roger de Moubray, were taken prisoners 
at Alnewike by the Barons of the north, as they came to 
destroy the northern part of the country in the name of the 
young King. But old King Henry having committed them 
to the safe custody of the Earl of Leicester, and pardoned 
Hugh By god Earl of Chester, who had submitted to him, 
he returned to Normandy with a very considerable army 
of Welshmen, which David Prince of North Wales had sent 
him i in return for which, he gave him his sister Emma in 
marriage.* When he was arrived in Normandy, he sent a 
detachment of the Welsh to cut off some provisions that 
were on their way to the enemy's camp ; but in the mean 
time the French King came to a treaty of peace, which was 
shortly afterwards concluded upon ; so that all the brethren 
who had during this time maintained such an unnatural 
rebellion against their father, were forced to ask the old 
king's forgiveness and pardon for all their former mis- 
demeanours. David Prince of North Wales began to grow 
very bold and assuming, in consequence of his new alliance 
with the King of England ; and nothing would serve him, 
but he must put his brother Roderic in prison, and secure 
him with fetters, for no other reason than because he 
demanded his share of his father's lands. It was the custom 
of Wales, as is before stated, to make an equal division of 
the father's inheritance between all the children; and, 
therefore, David had no colour of reason or pretence to 
deal so severely with his brother, unless it were to verify the 
proverb Might overcomes right. Though Prince David 

* By this princess David had a son named Owen. See Hist, of Gwedir Family, p, 12. 


could depend much upon his affinity with the King of Eng- 
land ; yet Rhys Prince of South Wales gained his favour 
and countenance still more, because he let slip no oppor- 
tunity to further the king's interest and affairs in Wales, and 
by that means was a very necessary and useful instrument in 
keeping under the Welsh, and in promoting the surer settle- 
ment of the English in the country not that he bore any 
affection to either King Henry or his subjects, but because 
he was sufficiently rewarded for former services, and was 
still in expectation of receiving more favours at the king's 
hands ; and he was resolved to play the politician so far, as 
to have more regard to his own interest than to the good of 
his native country. What ingratiated him with King Henry 
most of all was this : upon the feast of St. James he brought 
all such lords of South Wales as were at enmity with the 
king, to do him homage at Gloucester ; namely, Cadwalhon 
ap Madawc of Melyenyth, his cousin-german ; Eineon Clyt 
of Elvel, and Eineon ap Rhys of Gwerthrynion, his sons-in- 
law ; Morgan ap Caradoc ap lestyn of Glamorgan ; GrufFydh 
ap Ifor ap Meiric of Sengennyth, and Sitsylht ap Dyfnwal of 
Higher Gwent, all three his brothers-in-law (having married 
his sisters); together with lorwerth ap Owen of Caerlheon. 
King Henry was so much pleased with this act of Rhys, 
that notwithstanding these persons had been his implacable 
enemies, he readily granted them their pardon, and received 
them to favour ; and restored to lorwerth ap Owen the town 
and castle of Caerlheon, which he had unjustly taken from 

This reconciliation betwixt King Henry and these Welsh A.D. 1175. 
lords some of the English in Wales took advantage of, and 
more particularly William de Bruce Lord of Brecknock, 
who for a long time had had a great desire to obtain Gwent- 
land, but could not bring about his design, because Sitsylht 
ap Dyfnwal, the person of greatest sway and power in the 
country, was an inveterate enemy to all the English : but he 
being now reconciled to the King, William de Bruce, under 
pretence of congratulating him on this new peace and 
agreement between the English and Welsh, invited Sitsylht 
and Geoffry his* son, with several others of the persons of 
chief note in Gwentland, to a feast in his castle of Aberga- 
venriy, which by composition he had lately received from 
them. Sitsylht, with the rest, came according to appoint- 
ment, and without the least suspicion of any treasonable 
design : but after they had been civilly entertained for some 
time, William de Bruce, to move a quarrel against them, 
began at last to propound certain articles to them, to be by 



them kept and performed ; and among other unreasonable 
conditions, they were to swear that none of them should 
at any time carry with them bow or sword. The Welsh 
refusing to consent to and sign such improper articles as 
these, William de Bruce presently called out his men, who 
were ready for that purpose, and bidding them fall to their 
business, they most treacherously fell upon and slew the 
innocent and unarmed Welsh :* and as if this act did not 
sufficiently express Bruce's cruelty and inhumanity, his men 
immediately went to Sitsylht's house, which stood not far 
from Abergavenny, and taking hold of Gwladus his wife, 
they slew her son Cadwalader before her face, and then 
setting fire to the house, they took her away to the castle. f 
This execrable murder being thus most barbarously and 
(which was worst of all) under pretence of kindness com- 
mitted, William de Bruce, to cloak his treason with some 
reasonable excuse, and to make the world believe it was not 
for any private interest or expectation he had done such an 
act as he knew would be by all men abhorred, Caused it to 
be reported that he had done it in revenge of the death of 
his uncle Henry of Hereford, whom the Welsh on the 
Easter-Even before had slain. Whilst these things passed 
in South Wales, Roderic, brother to David Prince of North 
Wales, made his escape out of prison, and fleeing to Angle- 
sey, he was received and acknowledged by all the country 
on that side the river Conway for their lord and prince ; 
which they were the more willing to do because they had 
conceived an utter abhorrence of Prince David, who, con- 
trary to all rules of equity, and almost nature, had disinhe- 
rited the whole of his brethren and cousins, relying upon his 
affinity and relation to the king of England. David, per- 
ceiving the storm to grow very violent, and that the inhabit- 
ants of the country flocked in numbers and adhered to his 
brother Cadwalader, thought it best to wait awhile till the 
storm was abated, and so retired over the river Conway. 
Towards the end of this year, Cadelh, the son of Gruffydh 
ap Rhys and brother to Lord Rhys, after a tedious fit of 
sickness, having taken upon him the Monkish order, de- 
parted this life, and his body was very honourably interred 
at Stratflur. 

A. D. 1176. In the spring of the following year died also David 
Fitz-Gerald, Bishop of Menevia or St. David, whose see 
was supplied by one Piers, being nominated thereunto by 
the king of England : but what happened most remarkable 


* Matthew Paris, p. 110. f Welsh Chron. pp. 236, 237. 

Welsh Chron. pp. 236, 237. 


this year was, that the Lord Rhys, Prince of South Wales, 
made a very great feast at Christmas in his castle of Aber- 
teifi, which he caused to be proclaimed through all Britain, 
Ireland, and the islands adjacent, a considerable time before; 
and according to their invitation, many hundreds of English, 
Normans, and others coming to Aberteifi, were very honour- 
ably received and courteously entertained by Prince Rhys. 
Among other tokens of their welcome and entertainment, 
Rhys caused all the bards or poets throughout Wales to 
come thither ; and for a better diversion to the company, he 
provided chairs to be set in the hall, in which the bards 
being seated, they were to answer each other in rhyme, and 
those that acquitted themselves most handsomely and out- 
vied the rest were promised great rewards and rich presents. 
In this poetical competition, the North Wales bards ob- 
tained the victory, with the applause and approbation of the 
whole company; and among the professors of musick, be- 
tween whom there was no small strife, Prince Rhys's own A.D. 1177. 
servants were accounted the most expert. Notwithstanding 
this civil and obliging treatment of Prince Rhys, the Nor- 
mans upon the marches resorted to their accustomed manner 
of treacherously way-laying and privately assaulting the 
harmless and undesigning Welsh; and in consequence, 
Eineon Clyt, son-in-law of Rhys, and Morgan ap Meredith, 
falling into the net which the Normans had deceitfully laid 
for them, were treacherously murdered : therefore, to keep 
the Normans under greater awe for the future, Prince Rhys 
built a castle at Rhayadr Gwy, being a place where the 
river Wye falls with much noise and precipitation down a 
great rock. This castle promised to be required to stand 1179. 
him in a double stead; for soon after he had finished it, the 
sons of Conan ap Owen Gwynedh made war against him, 
but finding upon trial that their design against Rhys was 
impracticable, they thought it most advisable to retire back 
to North Wales. 

The next year, Cadwalader, brother to Owen Gwynedh, 1179. 
and uncle to David and Roderic, who for fear of his brother 
had some time ago fled for refuge to the king of England, as 
he was being conveyed home by some of the king's servants, 
to enjoy his patrimonial estates in Wales, was by those 
barbarous and treacherous villains murdered on his journey.* 
This year the sepulchre of the famous and noble British 
King Arthur, with his wife Gwenhofar (by the means of 


* All the persons concerned in the murder were condemned to the gibbet. Matthew 
Paris, p. 116, says it was Cadwalhon that was murdered ; but he was slain before the 
death of his father. See Memoirs of Gwedir Family, p. 1. Welsh Chron. p. 238. 


some Welsh bard whom King Henry had heard at Pem- 
broke relate in a song the worthy and mighty acts of that 
great prince and the place where he was buried), was found 
in the isle of Afalon, without the Abbey of Glastonbury, 
their bodies being laid in a hollow elder tree, buried 15 feet 
in the earth. The bones of King Arthur were of marvel- 
lous and almost incredible size, and there were ten wounds 
in the skull, whereof one being considerably larger than the 
rest seemed to have been his death-blow ; and the Queen's 
hair appeared to the sight to be fair and yellow, but when 
touched, crumbled immediately to dust. Over the bones 
was laid a stone, with a cross of lead, upon the lower side of 
which stone were engraven these words : 


Here lies buried the famous King Arthur in the isle 
of Afalon. 

No action of moment had passed in Wales for a consider- 
able time, and the Welsh were in perfect amity and concord 
with the king of England ; but an unlucky accident fell qut 
at length to dissolve this happy agreement. One Ranulph 
A.D. Poer, who was sheriff of Gloucestershire, or rather (as 
Giraldus Cambrensis observes) of Herefordshire, being a 
cruel and unreasonable oppressor of the Welsh, put the 
Lord of Gwentland to death ; in revenge of whom a certain 
young person of that country set upon Ranulph with several 
other gentlemen his companions, and slew them to a man.* 
King Henry was so much enraged on hearing of it, that he 
immediately raised and assembled all his power, and came 
to Worcester, intending to march forward to Wales and 
invade the country : but Lord Rhys ap Gruffydh, a subtle 
and politic prince, thinking it impossible to withstand the 
English army, and fearing the king's power and determina- 
tion, which he perceived to be so implacably bent against 
the Welsh, went in person to Worcester, and swearing 
fealty to the king, became his perpetual liege-man; and for 
the due performance of this contract, he promised to send 
his sons and nephews for pledges. f When, however, he 
would have persuaded them to answer his request, the 
young men considering with themselves that former pledges 
had not been very well treated by the English, refused to 
go,J and so the whole matter rested for that time : what 


* Giraldus Cambrensis Itin. lib. i. c. 6. Roger Hovedon, p. 617. 
t Holinshead, p. 108. Benedict. Abbas, vol. ii. p. 411. Welsh Chron. p. 240. 



became of the affair afterwards we know not; but it is 
probable that King Henry returned to England satisfied 
with Rhys's submission, for we hear no more of his expedi- 
tion to Wales; and so the country remained undisturbed 
for a long time, till at length the Welsh began to fall to 
their wonted method of destroying one another. Cadwala- A - D - 
der, son of Prince Rhys, was privately murdered in West 
Wales, and buried in the Ty Gwyn. The year following, ii87. 
Owen Fychan, the son of Madawc ap Meredith, was slain 
by night in the castle of Carreghova, near Oswestry, by 
Gwenwynwyn and Cadwalhon, the sons of Owen Cyfeilioc : 
but what was most unnatural of all, Lhewelyn (whose father, 
Cadwalhon ap Gruffydh ap Conan, was lately mnrdered by 
the Englishmen) was taken by his own brothers, who bar- 
barously put out his eyes. About the same time, Baldwyn, 
Archbishop of Canterbury, attended by Giraldus Cam- 
brensis, took a progress into Wales, being the first Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury which visited that country; whose 
authority the clergy of Wales in vain opposed, though they 
obstinately alleged the liberties and privilejges of their metro- 
politan church of St. David. In this visitation, described 
by Giraldus in his Itinerarium Cambria?, he persuaded 
many of the nobility of Wales to go to the Holy Land, 
against those enemies of Christianity the Saracens, to whose 1188. 
power Jerusalem itself was now in great danger of becoming 
subject. The Archbishop having left the country, Maelgon, 
the son of Lord Rhys, brought all his forces against Ten- 
by, and making himself master of it, he burnt the whole 
town to the ground, and carried away considerable spoil. 
Maelgon was a person of such civil behaviour and easy 
access, of so comely personage, and of such honesty in all 
his actions, that lie attracted the most earnest love and 
affection of all his friends ; by which means he became very 
terrible and formidable to his enemies, especially the 
Flemings, over whom he obtained several victories. 

The next year, being the year of Christ 1189, Henry the 1189. 
Second, surnamed Courtmantle, King of England, died, 
and was buried at Fonteverard; after whom, his son 
Richard, called Coeur de Lion, was by the unanimous con- 
sent of all the nobility of England crowned in his place. 
Prince Rhys being thus deprived of his greatest friend, 
thought it most wise to make the best provision he could 
for himself, by enlarging his dominions, and extending the 
bounds of his present territories; and therefore, having 
raised all the strength he could, he took the castles of 
Seynclere, Abercorran, and Lhanstephan; and having taken 



and committed to prison Maelgon his son, who was the 
greatest thorn in his side, and one that was most passion- 
ately beloved by the men of South Wales, he brought the 
A.D. 1190. whole country to his subjection. Then he built the castle 
of Cydwely; but the joy of all this good fortune was taken 
from him by the loss of his daughter Gwenlhian, a woman 
of such incomparable beauty, and so far excelling in all 
feminine qualifications, that she was accounted the fairest 
and most accomplished lady in all the country. Soon after 

1191. her died Gruffydh Maylor, Lord of Bromfield,* a man of 
great prudence and experience, and one that excelled all the 
nobility of his time in hospitality, and in all other acts of 
generosity and liberality. His corpse was carried to 
Meivod, and honourably interred there, being attended by 
most of the persons of quality throughout the whole coun- 
try. He had issue by his wife Angharad, daughter of 
Owen Gwynedh Prince of North Wales, a son called 
Madawc, who succeeded his father in that part of Powys, 
called from him Powys Fadawc. Rhys, Prince of South 
Wales, was growing very powerful, and had made himself 
master of the greatest part of South Wales, excepting 
Dynefawr, with some few other places which still held out. 
Dynefawr, however, upon the first assault he made against 
it, was delivered up to him : but as he increased in the 
number of towns and castles, he had the misfortune to have 
that of his children diminished ; for his daughter Gwenlhian 
was lately deceased ; and now he had no sooner got Dyne- 
fawr castle into his possession, than his son Owen died at 
Strata Florida, otherwise called Ystratflur. King Richard 
was gone to the Holy Land against the Saracens ; but on 
his return to England, he obtained the kingdom of Cyprus, 
and gave it to Guido King of Jerusalem, upon condition he 
would resign his former title to him : during his stay in this 
island, he married Berengaria the daughter of the King of 

1192. Maelgon, son of Prince Rhys, had been now detained a 
long time in the prison where his father had shut him up ; 
but being at last utterly weary of his close confinement, he 
found means to make his escape. His father Prince Rhys 
was not so much troubled at Maelgon having escaped and 
obtained his liberty, as at his being obliged to give over the 
career of conquest which all this while he had gone so 
furiously on with ; but laying siege to Lhanhayaderi castle 
he took it without any great opposition, and brought all the 


* He was.the son of Madoc ap Meredith, the son of Bleddyn ap Cynvyn, and was lord 
of the two Bromfields and Mochnant-is-Rhaiadcr. 


country thereabout to bis subjection. What favoured him 
more in his attempts against the English was this, King 
Richard having signalized himself greatly against the 
infidels, in his return home through Austria, was taken 
prisoner by Duke Leopold, who presented him to the 
Emperor Henry, who demanded 200,000 marks for his A. D. 1193. 
ransom, laying to his charge, that he had spoiled and 
plundered the island of Sicily in his voyage to the Holy 
Land; and Rhys took the advantage of King Richard's 
absence to subject South Wales ; so Roderic brother to 
David Prince of North Wales, made use of the aid of 
Gothrik, the King of Man, to get the principality of North 
Wales to himself, and eject his brother; and, therefore, 
entering into Anglesey, he quickly reduced the whole island 
to his subjection ; but he did not enjoy it long, for before 
the year was over, the sons of his brother Conan came with 
an army against him, and forcing him, together with the 
king of Man, to flee from the island, they took immediate 
possession of it themselves. While these things were done 
in North Wales, Maelgon, son of Prince Rhys of South 
Wales, who lately escaped from prison, besieged Ystrad- 
meyric castle, and after but little opposition got it into his 
own hands upon Christmas night ; which encouraged him 
to farther attempts. At the same time, his brother Howel 
(surnamed Sais, or the Englishman, because he had served 
for some time under the king of England), another son of 
Prince Rhys, obtained by surprise the castle of Gwys, and 
having secured Philip de Gwys the owner, with his wife 
and two sons, he made them all prisoners of war. Then 
the two brothers, Howel and Maelgon, joined their forces ; 
but fearing that they had more castles than they were able 
to defend, they deemed it expedient to rase Lhanhayaden 
castle, which the Flemings having notice of, they gathered 
all their power together, and coming to Lhanhayaden at the 
day appointed, they unexpectedly set upon the Welsh, and 
slew a great number of them. Notwithstanding this un- 
happy occurrence, they persisted in their determination to 
destroy the castle, and so coming to Lhanhayaden the 
second time, they rased it to the ground without any 
molestation. When Anarawd, another son of Prince Rhys, 
saw how prosperously his brothers succeeded, he thought 
to make himself as rich as they, and by a shorter and easier 
method ; and therefore having, under a pretence of friend- 
ship and regard, got his brothers Howel and Madawc in 
private, being moved with ambition and covetousness to 
enjoy their estates, he first made them prisoners and then 



very unnaturally pulled out their eyes: but Maelgon 
escaped this snare, and hearing what a foul action was com- 
mitted, he promised his brother Anarawd the castle of 
Ystradmeyric in exchange for the liberty and release of his 
A. D. 1194- two brothers, which Anarawd granted. It is, however, no 
wonder those brothers could be unnatural and cruel to one 
another, when they could join together in rebellion against 
their father ; for Prince Rhys having rebuilt the castle of 
Rhayadr Gwy, was waylaid and taken prisoner by his own 
sons, who were afraid that if their father had them once in 
his power, he would severely revenge their cruel and unna- 
tural deeds : but Howel proved more kind and dutiful than 
the rest ; for though he was blind, he found a way to let 
his father escape out of Maelgon 's prison, and so Prince 
Rhys being set at liberty, he took and destroyed the castle 
of Dynefawr, which belonged to his son Maelgon : yet 
notwithstanding he succeeded in his attempt, he lost another 
castle elsewhere ; for the sons of Cadwalhon ap Madawc of 
Melyenydh being informed that Prince Rhys was detained 
prisoner by his son Maelgon, they besieged Rhayadr Gwy 
castle, which being surrendered to them they fortified for 
their own use. 

Whilst these unhappy differences and unnatural contests 
betwixt Prince Rhys and his sons continued and raged in 
South Wales, a new revolution of affairs happened in North 
Wales. Prince David had enjoyed the sceptre of North 
W 7 ales for above twenty-four years, and it might have been 
supposed that so long a possession would have made him 
so secure in his throne that it could not be very easy to pull 
him down : but possession is not always the best defence, 
as was proved in Prince David's case at this time; for 
Lhewelyn, the son of lorwerth Drwyndwn, who was the 
eldest son of Owen Gwynedh, Prince of North Wales, 
being now arrived to years of maturity, and having sense 
enough to understand that he had a just title and claim to 
the principality of North Wales, of which his uncle David 
had so unjustly deprived him, he thought it high time to 
endeavour to recover what was lawfully his own, which 
however he was well persuaded his uncle David would 
never easily part with : and therefore, being well assured 
that the justness of his title would never advance him to the 
throne, unless he had an army at his heels to support his 
claim, he called together all his friends and relations by his 
mother's side, who was Marred the daughter of Madawc ap 
Meredith, Prince of Powys, and having secured the aid of 
his cousins, the sons of Conan ap Owen Gwynedh and 



Rhoclri ap Owen, he came into North Wales, proclaiming 
that, contrary to all justice, his uncle David had first dis- 
inherited his father lorwerth, and then had kept the govern- 
ment from him who was the right heir: and though his 
father lorwerth had been incapable of taking upon him the 
government by reason of some infirmity ; yet there was no 
reason that his father's weakness should exclude and deprive 
him of his inheritance ; and, therefore, being now sensible 
of that right which in his youth he had not so well under- 
stood, he laid claim to the principality, which was justly his 
own. There was no great need of inspiration to understand 
his claim, nor of much rhetorick to persuade the people to 
own him for their prince, for their affection had been 
alienated from David ever since he had dealt so unnaturally 
with his brothers, whom, after he had deprived of their 
estates, he banished out of the country ; and therefore before 
Lhewelyn could have expected any sure footing, the whole 
country of North Wales was at his devotion, excepting cnly 
three castles, which David, by the help of the English, on 
whom, by reason of his affinity with the late King Henry, 
he much depended, kept to himself. David being thus 
deprived of almost all that he formerly possessed, we shall 
account him no more among the princes of North Wales, 
but trace the history of the principality as restored to the 
true heir Lhewelyn ap lorwerth. 


J..JHEWELYN ap lorwerth, the son of Owen Gwynedh, A. D. 1194. 
liaving thus successfully established his just claim to the . 51h of 
dominion of North Wales, and being quietly settled in the Rlchard L * 
government thereof, Roger Mortimer marched with a strong 
body to Melyenith, and built the castle of Cymarori, whereby 
he reduced that country to his subjection, and forced thence 
the two sons of Cadwalhon ap Madawc that were governors 
thereof. About this time Rhys and Meredith, two valiant* 
but undutiful sons of Prince Rhys, having got together a 
body of hot-headed, daring soldiers, came before Dynefawr, 
and took the castle that was garrisoned by their father's 
men : hence they proceeded to Cantref-bychan, where the 


* Tn the first year of King Richard's reign, Rhys ap Gruffydd came into England as 
far as Oxford, conducted by the Earl of Moreton j and because the king would not 
personally meet the said Rhys ap Gruffydd, as his father had done, he fjll into a passion 
and returned to his own country. Brady's History of England. 


inhabitants civilly received them, and surrendered the castle 
to them. At this their father was justly incensed, and there- 
fore to put a stop to their farther proceedings, he en- 
deavoured by all means to take them, which not long after 
happened ; for their adherents being touched with the sense 
as well of their treason against, as of their allegiance due to 
their lawful lord Prince Rhys, and being anxious to atone 
for their past faults, and to procure his future favour, they 
betrayed their rebellious leaders to their offended father, 
who immediately committed them to safe custody. 
A. D. 1196. I'he ensuing year Prince Rhys levied a great army, whose 
first attempt was upon the town and castle of Caermarthen, 
both which he took in a short time and destroyed, and then 
returned with considerable booty. Soon afterwards he led the 
same army to the marches, and invested the castle of Clun, 
which was not so easily taken as the former ; for this cost 
him a long siege, and many a fierce assault ; and therefore 
to be avenged, when he took it he laid it in ashes ; thence 
he proceeded to the castle of Radnor, which he likewise 
captured ; but immediately after it cost him a bloody battle ; 
for he was no sooner master of the castle, but Roger 
Mortimer and Hugh de Say came with a numerous 
and well -disciplined army, consisting of Normans and 
English, to the relief of it. Whereupon Prince Rhys 
thinking it not his best course to confine his men within the 
walls, led them up into a campaign ground hard by, and 
there, like a valiant prince, resolved to give his enemies 
battle, though they had much the advantage of him ; for his 
men were neither so well armed, nor so much accustomed to 
battle as the others were; however, their courage made 
amends for their arms, and their leader's prudence and con- 
duct supplied the defects of their discipline ; for they chose 
rather to die honourably in the defence of their country, 
than shamefully to survive the loss of it ; and therefore they 
attacked their enemies so valiantly, that they were not long 
able to withstand their force, but quitted the field in great 
disorder, leaving a great number of their men slain upon 
the spot; and Prince Rhj's pursued them so closely, that 
they were glad of the shelter of the night to protect them 
from his fury. After this victory he besieged the castle of 
Payne in Elfel, which he easily took, and kept in his own 
hands, till William de Bruce, the owner thereof, came to 
him, and humbly desired peace of him, which he granted 
him, and withal delivered him up his castle again.* Not 
long after, the archbishop of Canterbury (whom King 


* Welsh Chron. pp. 247, 248. 


Richard had substituted his lieutenant in England) marched 
with a powerful army towards Wales> and besieged the 
castle of Gwenwynwyn, at Pool;* but the garrison made 
such a vigorous defence, that he lost a great many of his 
men, and all his attempts proved ineffectual ; therefore he 
sent for some pioneers, whom he ordered to undermine the 
walls ; which when the besieged understood, they en- 
deavoured to secure themselves on the most honourable 
terms they couldj being unwilling to put themselves to the 
hazard of a battle, because their enemies were thrice their 
number ; therefore they proposed to surrender up the 
castle, on condition they should carry off all their arms 
along with them : which offer the archbishop accepted, and 
so permitted the garrison to march out quietly. Then 
fortifying the castle for the king's use, and putting a strong 
garrison in it for its defence, he returned again to England. 
Gwenwynwyn, however, was not so willing to part with his 
castle, as not to attempt the recovery of it ; therefore as soon 
as he understood that the archbishop was gone back, he 
immediately besieged it, and shortly afterwards received it 
on the same terms that his men had delivered it up, and he 
then kept it for his own use.f 

The following year there broke out a terrible plague, A. D. 1197. 
which spread over all Britain and France, and carried off a 
great number of the nobility, besides common people. This 
year likewise died the valiant Rhys, Prince of South 
Wales :J the only stay and defence of that part of the princi- 
pality, for he it was that obtained for them their liberty, and 
secured it to them. He often very readily exposed his own 
life for the defence of theirs and their country ; generally he 
obtained the victory over his enemies^ and at last either 
brought them entirely under his subjection, or forced them 
to quit their country. He was no less illustrious for his 
virtuous endowments, than for his valour and extraction ; so 
that it was with good reason that the British bards and 
others wrote so honourably of him, and so much deplored 
his death. 

To this prince were born many sons and daughters, 
whereof his eldest son Gruffydh succeeded him : the others 
were Cadwalhon, Maelgon, 'Meredith, and Rhys. Of his 

o 2 

* Powys Castle, near Welsh Pool. Roger Hovedon, p. 775* 

t Welsh Chron.p.248. 

J He was interred in the Abbey of Strata Florida (Ystrad Flur), in the county of 
Cardigan, which he himself had erected ; and which became the burial-place of the 
succeeding lords of his family. Manuscript of Edward Llwyd, in Sir John Seahright's 
Collection. Brit. Ant. Rev. by Vaughan of Hengwrt, p. 19. Welsh Chron. pp. 247, 248. 


daughters, one called Gwenlhian was married to Ednyfed 
Fychan, ancestor to Owen Tudor that married Katharine 
queen-dowager to King Henry the Fifth : and the rest were 
very well matched with some of the nobility of the country. 
Prince Gruffydh being settled in the government of his 
country, did not long enjoy it peaceably; for his trouble- 
some brother Maelgon thought it now a fit time to endeavour 
the recovery of the inheritance his father had deprived him 
of. To this purpose he made a league with Gwenwynwyn, 
the son of Owen Cyfeilioc, Lord of Powys, and by their 
joint interest they got together a considerable body of men, 
wherewith they surprised Prince Gruffydh at Aberystwyth, 
whom, after they had slain a great many of his men, they 
took prisoner. Thus Maelgon effectually accomplished his 
design in the recovery of the castle, and the whole country 
of Cardigan. His unfortunate brother he committed to the 
custody of his malicious confederate Gwenwynwyn, who 
immediately delivered him up to his inveterate enemies the 
English. After this, Gwenwynwyn, having assembled to- 
gether an army, entered Arustly, and brought it to his 

David ap Owen, whom Prince Lhewelyn had forced to 
quit his usurpation of the principality of North Wales, had 
hitherto lived quietly and peaceably, not so much out of 
kindness to his nephew, as because he knew not how to 
avenge himself; but now having assembled a great army of 
English and Welsh, he used his utmost efforts to recover 
his principality. Whereupon Prince Lhewelyn, who was 
the right heir, and in possession of it, proceeded boldly to 
meet him, and gave him battle, wherein he completely 
routed his army, and took his uncle David prisoner, whom 
he delivered into safe custody, whereby he secured to him- 
self and his country peace and quietness. Towards the 
close of this year, Owen Cyfeilioc,* lord of the Higher Powys, 
departed this life, and left his estate to Gwenwynwyn his 
son ; after whom that part of Powys was called Powys- 
Wenwynwyn, to distinguish it from the other called Powys- 
Fadoc, the inheritance of the lords of Bromfield. About 
this time Trahaern Fychan, a man of great power and 
authority in the county of Brecknock, was suddenly seized 
upon as he was going to Llancors to confer about some 
business with William de Bruce lord thereof, and by an 
order of that lord, he was tied to a horse's tail and dragged 
through the streets of Brecknock to the gallows, where he 
was beheaded, and his body hung up by the feet for three 

days ; 
* This prince was a bard of some eminence j a few poems of his are extant at this day. 


days ;* which barbarous indignity, inflicted on him for no 
known just cause, so much alarmed his brother's wife and 
children, that they fled their country for fear of the same 
usage. The year following Maelgon, who had before routed A. D. 1198. 
the army of his brother Prince Gruffydh, and taken him 
prisoner, began to enlarge his territories, and included 
therein his brother's castles of Aberteifi and Ystratmeyric. 
The youngest son of Prince Rhys about this time also 
recovered the castle of Dynefawr from the Normans. 

The same summer, Gwenwynwyn resolved upon en- 
deavouring to extend Wales to its ancient limits ; and for this 
purpose he raised a powerful army, with which he first 
designed to be avenged of William de Bruce for the inhuman 
death of his cousin Trahaern Fychan, and therefore he 
besieged his castle of Payne in Elfel,f where he made a 
protestation, that as soon as he had taken it, for a farther 
satisfaction of his revenge, he would unmercifully ravage the 
whole country as far as Seyern : but these mighty menaces 
were soon dissipated ; for he had neither battering engines 
nor pioneers, so that he was forced to lay before the castle 
for three weeks without effecting any thing; whereby the 
murderers had time enough to apply themselves to England 
for succours, which they obtained : for upon information of 
their situation, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter,J Lord Chief Justice of 
England, levied a considerable army, to which he joined all 
the Lords Marchers, and came in all haste to the relief of 
the place, where he met Gwenwynwyn ; with whom, before 
he would hazard a battle, he was desirous to have a treaty 
of peace, to which Gwenwynwyn and his adherents would 
not give any attention, but returned in answer to his mes- 
sage, that their business there was to be revenged of in- 
juries that had been done to them. Hereupon the English 
lords resolved to set at liberty Prince GrufFydh of South 
Wales, whom they knew to be an inveterate enemy of 
Gwenwynwyn, because he it was that delivered him up to 
their hands ; and they likewise knew that he was a man of 
great authority in his country ; therefore they rightly con- 
cluded he might be more serviceable to them when at 
liberty than under confinement, and therein they were not 
disappointed; for he immediately got together a strong 
body of his countrymen, and joining with the English, 


* Welsh Chron. pp. 250, 251. Humffrey Lhuyd's Breviary, p. 70. 

f- In Radnorshire. 

J Fitz Peter was an eminent character; he was dreaded by John, who yet dared not 
to remove him from his great office. When John heard of his death, he exultingly 
cried, And is he gone then? Well, let him go to hell, and join Archbishop Hubert! 
By God's foot, I am now, for the first time, king of England,"' Matthew Paris. 


advanced towards the castle, where they furiously attacked 
Gwenwynwyn, who made an equally vigorous defence ; 
upon which there ensued a bloody battle, with a great 
slaughter on both sides, but at length the English got the 
victory, and Gwenwynwyn lost a great number of common 
soldiers (if we believe Matthew Paris,* 3700 men) besides 
a great many of his best commanders, among whom were 
Anarawd son of Eineon, Owen ap Cadwalhon, Richard ap 
lestyn, and Robert ap Howel. Meredith ap Conan was 
likewise taken prisoner, with many more. After this the 
English returned home triumphantly, and requited Prince 
Gruflfydh's service by restoring him to complete freedom, 
who immediately, partly by his own power, and partly by 
the affection of his people, re-possessed himself of all his 
dominions, save the castles of Aberteifi and Ystratmeyric, 
which his usurping brother Maelgon, by the assistance of 
Gwenwynwyn, had, during his confinement by the English, 
taken from him, and still unjustly detained. Hereupon, 
some of Prince Gruffydh's prime nobility and clergy came 
to him, and offered their endeavours to reconcile him to his 
brother, and made him so apprehensive of his just dis- 
pleasure towards him, that he took a solemn oath before 
them, that in case his brother would give him hostages for 
the security of his own person, he would deliver him up his 
castle of Aberteifi by a day appointed ; which proposals 
Prince Gruffydh accepted, and accordingly sent him his 
demands ; but it was either far from Maelgon's intention to 
make good his offer, or else he was very inconstant in his 
resolution ; for he had no sooner received the hostages than, 
instead of delivering up the castle, he fortified it, and put in 
it a garrison for his own use, and committed the hostages to 
the custody of Gwenwynwyn, Prince Gruffydh's mortal 
enemy; but not long after, their innoceney procured them 
an opportunity of escape. 

A. D. 1199. In the year 1199, Maelgon, still pursuing his hatred of 
his brother Prince Gruffydh, assembled an army, wherewith 
he besieged his castle of Dynerth, which he obtained in a 
short time, and then put all the garrison to the sword. 
About the same time Prince Gruffydh, on the other hand, 
won the castle of Cilgerran, and strongly fortified it. This 
year Richard the First of England, as he was besieging the 
castle of Chalonsf in France, was shot from the walls with 
an arrow, of which wound he soon after died, and left his 


* Matthew Paris, p. 162. Holinshead, p. 154. Welsh Chron. p. 252, speaks of the 
defeat, but not of the number slain. 

t An inconsiderable town in Limosin. 


kingdom to his brother John, who was with great solemnity 
crowned at Westminster : but he could not have expected 
to enjoy this kingdom peaceably; for his elder brother 
Geoffrey Plantagenet had left a son behind him named 
Arthur, who had a right to the crown of England by lineal 
descent ; which he therefore justly laid claim to, and by the 
assistance of King Philip of France (who espoused his 
quarrel) endeavoured to recover. Before, however, Prince 
Arthur had made sufficient preparations to carry on his 
design, he was unexpectedly attacked by his uncle, his army 
routed, and he himself taken prisoner, and committed to 
safe custody ; not long after which he died, and thus King 
John was rid of his competitor. 

The following year Gruffydh ap Conan ap Owen Gwynedh A. D. 1200. 
died, and was buried in a monk's cowl in the abbey of 
Conway, which way of burying was very much practised 
(especially by persons of high rank) in those days ; for the 
monks and friars had deluded the people into a strong 
conceit of the merits of it, and had firmly persuaded them it 
was highly conducive to their future happiness to be thus 
interred. This superstition, together with the propagators 
of it, they had lately received from England : for the first 
abbey or monastery we read of in Wales, after the destruc- 
tion of the famous house of Bangor, which savoured of the 
Jlomish errors, was the Ty-Gwyn, built in the year 1146; 
after which they much increased and spread over all the 
country ; and now the fountain head began to be corrupted ; 
for the clergy maintained a doctrine which ther ancestors 
abhorred, as may easily be gathered from the writings of 
that worthy divine Ambrosius Telesinus, who flourished in 
tlie year MO, when the Christian faith (which we suppose to 
have been delivered at the isle of Afalori by Joseph of 
Arimathea) flowed in this land in a pure and uncorrupted 
stream, before it was infected and polluted by that proud 
and blood-thirsty monk Augustine. Ambrosius Telesinus 
then wrote and left behind him as his own opinion, and 
the opinion of those days, these following verses : 

Gwae'r offeiriad byd 

Nys angreifftia gwyd 

Ac ny phregetha : 

Gwae ny cheidw ei gail 

Ac ef yn fugail 

Ac nys areilia ; 

Gwae ni cheidw ei dhefaid 

Rhae bleidhie Rhufeniaid 

A'i ftbn gnwppa. 

i. e 


i. e. Woe be to the bishop who does not rebuke vice, and 
give good example ; and who does not preach. Woe be to 
him, if he does not keep well his fold, and be a shepherd, 
and does not keep together and guard his sheep from 
Romish wolves with his pastoral staff. 

From whence it is apparent, that the Church of Rome 
was then corrupt, and that the British churches persevered 
in the primitive and truly apostolical profession of 
Christianity, as it was at first planted in the island ; and 
that no Roman innovations had crept in among them, though 
they afterwards much increased, when they were introduced 
by Augustine the monk. 

This year likewise we find the malicious and turbulent 
Maelgon, choosing rather to persist in his rebellion, than to 
return to his allegiance, and to prefer a small lucre to the 
love and safety of his country : for now finding that the 
castle of Aberteifi was not tenable by his own power and 
force, yet rather than deliver it up to his brother Prince 
Gruffydh, and thereby procure his favour, he chose to sell 
it to his bitter enemies the English, for an inconsiderable 
sum of money, whereby he opened them a free passage into 
Wales ; this being considered one of its' chief defences and 
bulwarks. About this time Madawc, son of Gruffydh 
May lor Lord of Bromfield, built the abbey of Lanegwest, 
commonly known to the English by the name of Vale 

A. D. 1201. I n the year 1201, the valiant Lhewelyn ap lorwerth 
Prince of North Wales, banished out of his territories his 
cousin Meredith, the son of Conan ap Owen Gwynedh, 
whom he suspected of treasonable practices, and therefore 
confiscated his lands, which were the Cantrefs of Lhyn and 
Efyoneth.* About the same time Meredith, the son of 
Prince Rhys, was slain at Carnwilhion by treason, where- 
upon his elder brother Gruffydh possessed himself of his 
castle in Lhanymdhyfri and all his lands. This Gruffydh 
was a valiant and discreet prince, and one that appeared 
likely to bring all South Wales to good order and 
obedience ; for in all things he trod in his father's steps, 
and made it his business to succeed him as well in his 
Valour and virtuous endowments, as in his government : but 
the vast hopes conceived of him soon proved abortive ; for 

A.D. 1202. in the ensuing year, on St. James's day, he died, to the great 
grief and loss of his country, and shortly after was buried at 
Ystratflur with great pomp and solemnity. He left behind 


* The Cantrevsof Llun and Evionjdd, situate in the South West parts of Caernar- 
vonshire. History of fiwcdir Family, p. 20. 


him 'as a successor a son called Rhys, which Maud, the 
daughter of William de Bruce, had borne to him. The 
following year some of the Welsh nobility marched w r ith an 
army towards the castle of Gwerthrynion, which belonged 
to Roger Mortimer, and after a short siege, they took it and 
levelled it with the ground. 

This year Lhewelyn ap lorwerth, having considered his 
estate and title, and that all the Welsh princes were obliged, 
both by the laws of Rocleric the Great and those of Howel 
Dha, to acknowledge the King or Prince of North Wales 
for their sovereign lord, and to do homage to him for their 
dominions : and that, notwithstanding they knew this to be 
their duty, and that they formerly had readily performed it ; 
yet, because of late years his predecessors had neglected to 
call them to their duty, they now began to imagine them- 
selves exempted from it, and some thought themselves 
accountable to no superior prince, while others denied 
subjection to Prince Lhewelyn, and held their dominions of 
the King of England : therefore, to put a stop to the further 
growth of this contempt, and to assert his own right, Prince 
Lhewelyn commanded the attendance of all the Welsh 
lords, who for the most part appeared and swore allegiance 
to him :* butGwenwynwyn, Lord of Powys, neither came to 
this meeting, nor would own the prince's supremacy ; which 
stubbornness and disobedience the prince acquainted his 
nobility with, whereupon they delivered their opinion, that 
it was but reasonable that Gwenwynwyn should be com- 
pelled to his duty, or forfeit his estate : this all the lords 
consented to, excepting Elis ap Madawc, who was an 
intimate friend of Gwenwynwyn, and therefore would not 
consent to the enacting any thing that might be prejudicial 
to him, but went away from the meeting much dissatisfied 
with their proceedings. Notwithstanding which, Prince 
Lhewelyn, pursuant to the advice of the rest of his nobility, 
raised an army and marched towards Powys : but before he 
made any use of his forces, he was, by the mediation of 
some learned and able men, reconciled to Gwenwynwyn, 
and so Gwenwynwyn became his dutiful subject, which he 
confirmed both by oath and in writing : and indeed it was 
not without good reason that Prince Lhewelyn used all the 
caution imaginable to bind this man, for he had sworn 
allegiance before to the King of England. Lhewelyn 
having thus subjected Gwenwynwyn, he thought it now a 
proper time to shew some marks of his resentment towards 
his adherent Elis ap Madawc, and therefore he stripped him 

* British Ant. Rev. by Vaughan of Hcngwrt. 


of all his lands, whereupon Elis fled the country, but not 
long after, yielding himself to the prince's mercy, he 
received of him the castle of Crogen, and seven townships 
besides.* And now having mentioned Crogen, it will not 
be improper to step a little out of the way, and here take 
notice of the reason why the P^nglish formerly, when they 
had a mind to reproach the Welsh, called them Crogens.f 
The first occasion of it was this, King Henry the Second in 
his expedition against the Welsh to the mountains of 
Berwyn, lay a while at Oswestry, during which time he 
detached a number of his men to try the passages into 
Wales, who, as they would have passed OfiVs dyke at the 
castle of Crogen, at which place there was a narrow way 
through the same, which dyke appears now very deep 
through all that country, and bears its old name ; these 
men, I say, as they would have passed this strait, were met 
by a party of Welsh, and a great many of them slain and 
buried in that ditch, as appears by their graves there to be 
seen ; and the name of the strait imports as much, being 
called in Welsh Adwifr bedhau :% the English therefore, 
bearing in mind this slaughter, whenever they got any of the 
Welsh into their power, upbraided them with the name of 
Crogen, intimating thereby that they should expect no 
more favour or mercy at their hands, than they showed to 
the English engaged in that skirmish : but this word, which 
at first was rather a badge of reputation than disgrace to the 
Welsh, came afterwards to be used in a different sense, and 
to be applied only when it was intended to reproach and 
abuse them. To return, however, to Prince Lhewelyn, 
whom we find returning home after he had successfully 
asserted his sovereignty over all Wales, and set all things in 
good order ; and who on his way fortified the castle of Bala 
in Penlhyn. About this time Rhys, the son of Gruffydh ap 
Rhys, the lawful Prince of South Wales, took the castle of 
Lhanymdhyfry, upon Michaelmas- Day. This year Lhewe- 
lyn Prince of Wales took to wife Joan, the daughter of 
King John, which Agatha, daughter of Robert Ferrers 
Earl of Derby, bore to him, and with whom King John 
gave the Prince for a dowry the Lordship of Ellesmere, in 
the marches of Wales.g 


* Welsh Chron. pp. 257, 258. 

f- It has been erroneously said, that the term Crogens was used in contempt and 
derision of the Welsh ; but that was not the truth ; the English meant to express by it 
animosity, and the desire of revenge. Royal Tribes. 

J AdwJ'r Beddau, or the Pass of the Graves. 

History of Gwedir Family, p. 22. says she was a legitimate daughter. Fabian, in 
his reign of John, says that she was a natural one. Welsh Chron. p. 259. 

Prince Llywelyn in his youth had married Tangwystl, daughter of Llywarch Goch, 


This year prince Rhys, who in the preceding year took A. D. 1203. 
the castle of Lhanymdhyfri, won likewise the castle of 
Llangadoc, and put a garrison therein, but he enjoyed 
neither of them long; for shortly after, his uncle Maelgon, 
with his friend Gwenwynwyn, levied a powerful army, and 
with it besieged and took the castle of Lhanymdhyfri; 
thence they removed to Llangadoc, and obtained that castle . 
also, on condition that the garrison should depart without 
molestation. When they had taken these two castles, they 
went to Dinerth, where Maelgon finished the castle he had 
formerly begun there. This year likewise Prince Lhewelyn 
set at liberty his uncle David ap Owen Gwynedh, who made 
but an ungrateful return to his kindness; for instead of 
living peaceably at home, and enjoying that liberty that was 
granted him, he fled to England, and there gathered 
together an army, wherewith he attempted to restore 
himself to his ancient estate of North Wales; but he failed 
in his project, for his prudent nephew immediately met him 
on his march, and gave him a complete overthrow,* at 
which David was so much disheartened, that he returned to 
England, and shortly after died of grief.f The next year 1204. 
Howel, a blind son of Prince Rhys, was slain at Cemaes, by 
some of the followers of his brother Maelgon, and was 
buried near his brother Gruffydh, at Ystratflur: notwith- 
standing Maelgon in those days usurped all the rule of 
South Wales, yet Rhys and the other sons of his brother 
Gruffydh, won from him the chief defence of all that 
country, namely, the castles of Dynefawr and Lhanymdhyfri. 
About this time William Marshal Earl of Pembroke, 1205. 
besieged the castle of Cilgerran, and took it ; and not long 
afterwards, Maelgon hired an Irishman to kill Cadifor ap 
Griffri ; after which horrid act, Maelgon seized upon his 
four sons and put them to death ; these were all promising 
young gentlemen and descended from a noble stock, for 
their mother Susanna, was a daughter of the above-men- 
tioned Howel ap Rhys, by a daughter of Madawc ap 
Meredith Prince of Powys. In the year 1206, Maelgon 1206. 
built a castle at Abereneon ; and in the same year there was 
such an abundance of fish seen at Aberystwith, that the 
like was never before known in the memory of man. 


the Lord of Rhos : by whom he had a son, very brave, called Gruffydh ap Llywelyn. 
He married during his father's life Sina daughter of Caradoc ap Thomas ap Roderic ap 
Owen Gwynedh. History of Gwedir Family, p. 24. British Ant. Rev. by Vaughan of 
Hengwrt, p. 29. 

* Welsh Chron. p. 259. 

t History of Gwedir Family, p. 13, says "Some time after, that unfortunate prince 
with his son Owen were slain at Conway." 


A. D. 1207. This year the King of England banished the realm 
William de Bruce and his wife, on account of an antipathy 
that he had conceived against his son, and then seized upon 
all his lands : whereupon, William with his wife and son 
fled to Ireland, and there continued for some time ; and the 
hardship he now underwent was the less pitied, because he 
exercised the great power he had possessed in the marches 
of Wales with extreme cruelty and injustice. The same 
year Gwenwynwyn came to Shrewsbury to confer with the 
king's counsel, where he was detained prisoner:* where- 
upon Prince Lhewelyn invaded his country, and took all his 
towns and castles, and garrisoned them for his own use. 
This expedition of Prince Lhewelyn much alarmed the 
usurping Maelgon, and the more so, because he had in- 
telligence that Lhewelyn was on his march towards South 
Wales, therefore he now put himself in the best posture he 
could to receive him, but finding himself not able to with- 
stand his forces, he demolished the castles of Aberystwith, 
Ystratmeyric, and Dinerth, which he had previously 
fortified ; notwithstanding which, the Prince came to 
Aberystwith, and rebuilt the castle and put a garrison 
therein ; after this he seized upon the Cantref of Penwedic 
and the land betwixt Dyfi and Aeron, which he gave to 
Maelgon's nephews, the sons of Gruflfydh ap Rh$ r s, and then 
returned home with great joy and triumph. f Not long 
afterwards, Rhys Fychan, son to Prince Rhys, besieged the 
castle of Lhangadoc, and took it, contrary to the promise 
and league he had made with his nephews, forgetting like- 
wise how freely and readily they had assisted him in his 
necessity ; therefore, to be avenged of this ingratitude and 
breach of promise, Rhys and Owen no sooner heard of it, 
than they furiously attacked the castle, and took it by 
assault, and put to the sword, or took prisoners all the 
garrison, and then burnt the castle to the ground. 
1209. This year King John levied a powerful army, with which 
he embarked for Ireland ; but as he was on the borders of 
Wales on his journey thitherwards, there was a criminal 
brought before him who had murdered a priest ; the officer 
desired to know the king's pleasure as to the manner in 
which he would have the delinquent punished; but the 
king, instead of ordering any punishment to be inflicted 
upon him suitable to the heinousness of his crime, discharged 
him with a Well done, thou good servant, thou hast slain 
mine enemy; for such he reckoned the clergy of those days, 
who were very ill-affected to his usurped, arbitrary govern- 

* Welsh Chron. p. 260. t Welsh Chron. p. 261. 


ment, and therefore he slightly regarded any injuries that 
were done them ; for, on the contrary, he thought they did 
him good service that did them wrong. He had not been 
long in Ireland, before he got into his power the unfortunate 
William de Bruce the younger, and his mother Mawd de 
Saint Valerike, whom we have mentioned before to have 
quitted England for fear of him, and to have fled here for 
shelter. On his return to England he brought these in 
triumph along with him, and committed them to Windsor 
castle, where, by his orders, they were soon afterwards 
inhumanly famished. 

According to Matthew Paris, the reason of King John's 
displeasure against William de Bruce Lord of Brecknock 
was this : When the Pope had excommunicated the realm 
of England, the king, to prevent any inconveniences that 
might ensue thereupon, took pledges of such of his nobles 
as he thought were disaffected to him, and would be likely, 
if occasion offered, to countenance and promote a rebellion. 
Amongst others, he sent messengers to William de Bruce to 
demand his sons for pledges, to whom Mawd, de Bruce's 
wife, being the readier speaker, answered, (though what she 
said was no less her husband's sentiment than her own,) that 
the king, who had proved so base a guardian to his nephew 
Prince Arthur, whom instead of setting in, he deprived of 
his right, should have none of her children. This answer 
the messengers delivered to the king, whereat he was so 
highly displeased, that he ordered some soldiers should be 
sent to seize this lord ; but he having timely intelligence of 
this order, fled into Ireland with his wife and children, 
where now his wife Mawd, with her son, were unfortunately 
taken by King John, but he himself escaped, and fled into 
France, where he died soon afterwards. 

This year the Earl of Chester rebuilt the castle of A. D. 1210. 
Dyganwy, situate on the sea-shore and east of the river 
Conway, which Prince Lhewelyn had demolished. He 
likewise fortified the castle of Treffynon or St. Winifred. 
Upon this Lhewelyn entered into the EarPs land, which 
when he had ravaged as much as he deemed sufficient, he 
returned home with considerable booty.* About this time, 
Rhys Fychan, son to Prince Rhys, fearing lest Prince 
Lhewelyn should fall upon him for the wrong he had done 
to his nephews, whom he, Prince Lhewelyn, warmly, de- 
fended in their right, made an application to the king of 
England, who readily granted him what assistance he 
desired; and with this aid he besieged the castle of Lhan- 

* Welsh Chron. p. 262. 


ymdhyfri. The garrison for some time made a vigorous 
defence ; but having no hopes of any relief, they thought it 
their most prudent course to capitulate, and therefore they 
desired that they might march out with their arms and 
baggage, and all that belonged to them, which was granted 
them. About this time Gwenwynwyn was set at liberty, 
whom the king had hitherto detained prisoner, and the king 
also lent him some forces to attempt the recovery of his 
country, which Prince Lhewelyn had seized upon during 
his imprisonment ; and though by hi own strength he was 
not able to cope with the Prince, yet by this assistance 
granted him by the king, he soon re-possessed himself of 
his dominions. This success of Gwenwynwyn encouraged 
Maelgon likewise to endeavour the recovery of that part of 
his country which the Prince had taken from him in the 
same expedition ; and he made an application to the king 
of England, and swore allegiance to him. Hereupon the 
king granted him a considerable army, as well English as 
Normans ; to these he joined what forces he could raise in 
Wales; and then, contrary to the oath and agreement he 
had made with his nephews Rhys and Owen, he in a 
hostile manner entered their country. When he was come 
to Cantred Penwedic, he encamped at Cilcenny, where he 
staid some time to take measures for the better accomplish- 
ment of his designs : by this time his nephews had got 
together about 300 chosen well-disciplined men, but with 
so small a number they durst not oppose their uncle's 
numerous army in open field; therefore they endeavoured 
to overthrow those by a stratagem which they could not do 
by main force ; and herein they proved very successful, for 
coming as near their enemies as they could without being 
discovered, they sent out their spies that night for intelli- 
gence, who brought back the welcome news that all was 
quiet in Maelgon's camp, and that they kept no strict 
watch, being not aware of an approaching enemy. This 
intelligence much encouraged the brothers to prosecute 
their design, and they marched as silently as they could 
towards their enemies' camp, where they met with no oppo- 
sition, being undiscovered, because all were fast asleep. 
When they were advanced as they thought as far as 
Maelgon's tent, they furiously attacked and slew a great 
number of his men before they awoke; the rest being 
alarmed with the noise and shouts of their enemies, and 
withal thinking their number to be far greater than it was, 
were glad to make use of the darkness of the night to quit 
the field, excepting Maelgon's guard only, who valiantly 



kept their post and defended their lord till he had time and 
opportunity to escape. Maelgon's army suffered very much 
in this action ; his nephew Conan ap Howel with his chief 
counsellor Gruffydh ap Cadwgan were both taken prison- 
ers; and Eineon ap Caradoc with a great number more 
were slain upon the spot. About the same time, Gilbert 
Earl of Gloucester fortified the castle of Buelht, where a 
little before he had lost a considerable number of his men, 
in consequence of the place not being strong and tenable. 
Towards the conclusion of this year, Mallt or Mawd de 
Bruce, the wife of Gruffydh ap Rhys, departed this life, 
and was interred by her husband in a monk's cowl in 

The following year, North Wales was threatened by a A. D. 1211. 
great storm, in consequence of the Marchers having made 
frequent and grievous complaints to King John that Prince 
Lhewelyn perpetually molested their country, slew their 
men, and committed all the waste and destiuction possible 
as he passed along. The king, hearing of such intolerable 
depredations continually exercised by the men of North 
Wales, deemed it high time to redress the wrongs of his 
subjects, and therefore he raised a mighty army throughout 
England, and called to him all such lords and princes of 
Wales as held their lands under patents from him, as Howel 
ap Gruffydh ap Conan ap Owen Gwynedh, whom Prince 
Lhewelyn had banished out of North Wales; Madoc ap 
Gruffydh Maylor, Lord of Bromfield, Chirk, and Yale; 
Meredith ap Rotpert, Lord of Cydewen; Gwenwynwyn, 
Lord of Powys; Maelgon and Rhys, the sons of Prince 
Rhys, and governors of South Wales.f With this formida- 
ble army he came to Chester, intending to enter North 
Wales by that way, and being fully resolved to execute the 
severest vengeance upon the inhabitants, and not to let one 
person remain alive throughout the whole country: but 
resolutions of this nature are much easier made than accom- 
plished; accordingly, Prince Lhewelyn was no sooner in- 
formed of these mighty preparations against him, and which 
comprehended the whole strength of the English nation, 
and, what was worst of all, which was assisted by his own 
countrymen, than he issued forth his orders, commanding 
all his subjects of the inland counties of Denbigh and Flint, 
together with those of the island of Anglesey, to remove for 
a time all their cattle and other effects to the mountains of 
Snowdon, where they were sure to remain most secure from 
their enemies: but King John marched his army along the 

* Welsh Chron. p. 264. f IWd. 


sea-coast to Ruthlan,* and there passing the river Clwyd, 
he came to the castle of Deganwy,f where he encamped for 
some time to refresh and recruit his army, which, by reason 
of the long marches they had made, \vas greatly fatigued; 
but what the more augmented their misery, Lhewelyn 
getting behind them cut off' all their hopes of provision 
from England, and the Welsh, possessing the advantage of 
being acquainted with the straits and narrow passages, cut 
off all that straggled from the English camp, so that in time 
they were glad to take up with horse-flesh, and any thins; 
else were it never so mean which they could by possibility 
use as food. At last King John, finding no other remedy, 
and perceiving it impossible to continue longer there with- 
out a supply of provisions, thought it his best way to march 
for England^ and leave the Welsh to themselves, and so he 
decamped in a great fury, leaving Lhewelyn to bury that 
great number of dead which had perished by hunger in this 
unsuccessful expedition : however, to recover the honour 
he had now lost, he was resolved to try another encounter 
with the Welsh, but probably not with the same confidence 
of victory ; and therefore returning to W ales in the next 
August, having collected another similarly great army of 
English, and assisted by the same Welsh lords, he entered 
at Blanch monastery, now Oswestry, being in the lordship 
of John the son of William Fitz-Alan. In this expedition, 
King John passing the river Conway, and encamping at the 
other side towards the hills of Snowdon, sent part of his 
army (conducted by guides who were acquainted with the 
country) to bum Bangor, which they effectually did; and 
taking Robert bishop of that see out of church, they carried 
him prisoner to the English camp, where he continued for 
some time, till he obtained his ransom for a present of two 
hundred hawks : but Prince Lhewelyn finding the whole 
strength of England and almost Wales to fight against him, 
and judging it impossible with the power he alone possessed 
to withstand so great a multitude, thought it best to en- 
deavour to find out some method to reconcile himself to the 
king: and as he could devise no better measure, he sent 
Joan his wife, King John's daughter, to intreat with her 
father about a peace, and a cessation of hostilities ; who 
being a prudent, wary woman, so prevailed upon the king 
that he granted to her husband Prince Lhewelyn a safe 
conduct to come to him, and to renew the former peace and 


* Rhuddlan Red Banks ; which might properly take its name from the appear- 
ance of the country j or from the battle so fatal to the Welsh, which was fought upon" 
Rhuddlan marsh. 

f Annales de Margan, p. 15. Welsh Chron. p. 264. J Ibid. 


amity that was betwixt them; and so Lhewelyn having 
done homage, promised the king towards his expenses in 
this expedition 20,000 head of cattle and 40 horses, and, 
what was more than all, he surrendered all the inland 
countries of Wales, with the appurtenances, to him and his 
heirs for ever. King John having succeeded better in this 
than the former expedition, he returned to England in 
great triumph, having subdued all Wales, excepting that 
part which Rhys and Owen, the sons of Gruffydh ap Rhys, 
still kept and maintained against the English : but having 
no leisure to march against them himself, he, at his depart- 
ure out of the country, gave strict charge to Foulke 
Viscount of Caerdyff, warden of the marches, a cruel 
tyrant, though well beloved and favoured by the king, to 
take an army with him, and so joining with Maelgon and 
Rhys Fychan, to compel the sons of Gruffydh ap Rhys to 
acknowledge him for their sovereign and to do him homage. 
Foulke having received so positive a command, immedi- 
ately raised his forces, and calling Maelgon and Rhys, 
came to the Cantref of Penwedic ; which when the young 
lords Rhys and Owen heard of, and being assured that this 
blow was levelled against them, and knowing they were not 
able to bear it, before any attack was made, they sent to 
Foulke to sue for peace, and for a safe conduct for them to 
pass to the court of England. This being granted, they 
came to London and made their submission to the king, 
and requesting his pardon for all former misdemeanors, 
they gave up all pretence to their lands betwixt Aeron and 
Dyfi; and so paying their homage, they were dismissed 
very graciously. Foulke, however, before his departure 
out of the country, fortified the castle of Aberystwith, and 
placing a strong garrison therein, kept it for the king's use : 
but Maelgon and Rhys Fychan, being headstrong, incon- 
stant persons, soon repented them of the peace they had 
made with the king of England; and thereupon, without 
the least reason or provocation, they laid siege to Aber- 
ystwith castle, and haying with much difficulty made them- 
selves masters of it, they destroyed the fortification which 
Foulke had lately erected and rased the castle to the ground. 
However, they paid dear for this in another way; for as 
soon as Rhys and Owen had heard that their uncles had 
broken the king's peace, they made inroads into Isareon, 
which was Maelgon's country, and having slain a consider- 
able number of his men, among whom was one of peculiar 



bravery and strength, a youth called Bachglas, they returned 
with a rich booty. 

Maelgon and Rhys Fychan were quickly followed by the 
men of North Wales in their revolt from the king of 
England; for Prince Lhewelyn not being able to endure 
any longer the tyranny and oppression which the king's 
garrisons exercised in his country, called together Gwen- 
wynwyn from Powys, Maelgon ap Rhys from South Wales, 
Madoc ap Gruftydh May lor from Bromfield, and Meredith 
ap Rotpert from Cydewen, and plainly declared before 
them the pride and tyranny of the English, and observed 
that they who were always used to have a prince of their 
own nation, were now by their own wilfulness and neglect 
become subject to strangers : however, it was not too late to 
recover their ancient liberty, and if they did but unani- 
mously agree among themselves, they might easily cast oft' 
that yoke which was so intolerably burdensome to them. 
Then the lords being sensible of the truth and justice of 
what Prince Lhewelyn had said, and being conscious that 
their present slavish subjection to the English was wholly 
owing to their own cowardice, swore fealty to Prince Lhe- 
welyn, and also swore to be true and faithful to him, and to 
stand by each other to the utmost of their lives and fortunes. 
Therefore, joining their forces together, they took all the 
castles in North Wales which were in the hands of the 
English, excepting Rhuddlan, and Piganwy ; and then 
going to Powys, they laid siege to the castle which Robert 
Vipont had built at Mathrafal. King John being in- 
formed that the Welsh had conspired against him, and that 
they had taken and seized upon almost all his castles in 
North Wales, and that they were now actually besieging 
Mathrafal, presently assembled his army, and coming to 
Mathrafal, immediately raised the siege, and to prevent the 
Welsh from coming any more against it, he burnt it to the 
ground, and so returned to England, having no time to stay 
any longer in Wales, in consequence of the differences that 
happened betwixt him and his nobility : but being after- 
wards at Nottingham, and hearing that Prince Lhewelyn 
cruelly harassed and destroyed the marches, he caused all 
the Welsh pledges which he had received the last year to 
be hanged, among whom wereHowel the son of Cadwalhon, 
and Madoc the son of Maelgon, with many others of the 
sons of Welsh noblemen, to the number of twenty-eight. 
About. the same time, Robert Vipont caused Rhys the son 
of Maelgon to be hanged at Shrewsbury, being a youth of 
about seventeen years of age, and so cruelly murdered the 



innocent child in revenge for the crimes and offences com- 
mitted by his father and others,* 

Though King John was so severe to the Welsh, yet the 
Princess of North Walesf was more dutiful and favourable 
to him ; for whilst he staid at Nottingham, she sent him an 
express, declaring that the barons had entered into a con- 
spiracy with the French king against him, and that the 
latter was preparing and raising an army to come over to 
England, upon pretence that the king was a rebel and bid 
open defiance to the Holy Church, inasmuch as he would 
not yield to the Bishop of Rome's request. In confirmation 
of this, she told him that Robert Fitzwalter, Eustace de 
Vescy, and Stephen Redell were secretly fled into France, 
to promote and carry on this intrigue. In proof that this 
design against King John was no feigned surmise, the next A. D. 1212. 
year Pope Innocent the Third detached one of his nuncios 
to Wales, who absolved Prince Lhewelyn, Gwenwynwyn, 
and Maelgon from their oaths of allegiance to King John, 
and withal gave them a strict command, under the penalty 
of excommunication, to molest and annoy him with all their 
endeavours, as an open enemy to the church of God.J 
Prince Lhewelyn was far from being dissatisfied with this, 
for now he had gained the most fitting opportunity ima- 
ginable to recover such lands as he had formerly much 
against his will delivered up to the king, being in the inland 
country of Denbigh and Flint, and of which Lhewelyn at 
this time repossessed himself: and it was fortunate that he 
was so active in doing this ; for within a little while after, 
King John, by the persuasions of Pandulph, the Pope's 
legate, granted his Holiness all his request, and so obtained 
absolution at Pandulph's hands, and, upon performance of 
his promises, an assurance of a release from that Ecclesi- 
astical Bull which had so formidably roared against him. 

South Wales had now been quiet for a considerable time, 1213. 
and they that used to be commonly very turbulent and 
contentious, were now tolerably easy and amicable : but it 
was impossible that such a peaceable course of life should 
hold long, where injustice and oppression had so much 
sway, and where people were wrongfully kept out of their 

p. 2 

* Welsh Chron. p. 267. These innocent victims delivered up to John at the late 
peace were all of them very young, and allied to the most distinguished families in Wtues. 
Annales de Margan, p. 15. Holinshead, p. 176. Welsh Chron. 276. 

f He received two letters, one of which was from the king of Scotland, and the other 
was from his daughter, the wife of Prince Lhewelyn. Welsh Chroc. p. 267. 

| Matthew Paris, p. 194. Brady's History of England, p. 482. Annales Waverleiensis $ 
p. 173. Thomas Wykes, p. 37. Holinshead, p. 176. 


just and rightful inheritance; and this was the occasion of 
the breach of that quietness which for the two or three 
years last past they had so satisfactorily enjoyed : for Rhys 
the son of Gruffydh ap Rhys, who was right heir to Prince 
Rhys, finding he could have no share of his father's estate, 
but that his uncles forcibly kept all from him, thought it 
best to make his case known to the king of England, and to 
desire a remedy and redress from him. King John, in 
compassion for the young man's hard condition, sent to his 
deputy, Foulke Viscount of Caerdyff, warden of the marches, 
and to the Steward of Hereford, commanding them to take 
away all Ystratywy from Rhys Fychan, by some called Rhys 
Gryg,* unless he would permit his nephews to enjoy Lhan- 
ymdhyfry castle, with all the lands and privileges thereunto 
belonging. Foulke having received such orders 'from his 
master the king of England, sent to acquaint Rhys of the 
proposals, and to demand of him whether or not he would 
deliver up Lhanymdhyfry to his nephews, according to the 
king's command; who returned answer, that he did not 
know of any such obligation due from him to the king of 
England as to part with his lands at his command, and 
therefore assured him peremptorily, and in plain terms, that 
he would not willingly part with one foot of what he was 
then in possession of. Foulke, therefore, having received 
this resolute answer, was likewise as determined to get that 
by force which he could not obtain by fair means ; and so 
having raised a great army, he marched to Talhwynelgain 
to meet young Rhys, who was to come thither with all the 
forces he could raise in Brecknock ; and from thence they 
marched in three divisions towards Dynefawr, the first 
being commanded by young Rhys, the second by Foulke, 
and Owen, brother to Rhys, led the third. Rhys Fychan 
was not in the least dismayed at their number, but thinking 
it more advisable to meet them in the field than to suffer 
them to block him up at Dynefawr, came out very boldly 
and gave them battle ; when, after a warm engagement on 
both sides, Rhys Fychan was defeated, and after losing a 
great number of his men, he was glad to make his escape by 
flight: wherefore, retiring to Dynefawr, he doubled the 
garrison of that place, but thinking the town of Lhandeilo- 
fawr not tenable, he burnt it to the ground, and then hid 
himself in the woods and other retired places : however, 
young Rhys and Foulke laid siege to Dynefawr, and in the 
first assault attacked it so fiercely, that they forced the 
garrison to retire to the castle, which for some time they 


* Rough Rhys. 


defended very manfully : the besiegers, however, b3gan to 
play so violently with their battering engines, and to under- 
mine the wall in such a manner, that the governor after a 
short defence offered to capitulate, giving three pledges for' 
security, that if they received no relief by the morrow at 
noon the castle should be surrendered, upon condition that 
the garrison should march out with all the tokens of honour, 
and carry their arms and all other implements of war along 
with them. No relief being arrived, the castle the next 
day was accordingly surrendered, and all the articles of the 
capitulation observed; and thus young Rhys being pos- 
sessed of Dynefawr, in a little time afterwards brought all 
Cantreffawr to his subjection. When Rhys Fychan was 
aware that the stream of affairs was running violently against 
him, he thought it his wisest way to remove his wife and 
children, and all his other effects, to his brother Maelgon's 
country, and so leaving Lhanymdhyfry castle well manned 
and fortified, he departed towards Aberystwith. As soon, 
however, as Foulke was returned to the marches, young 
Rhys came with an army, consisting of Welsh and Normans, 
before Lhanymdhyfry, intending to besiege that place; but 
before they were encamped in front of the town, the governor 
thought it his best way to surrender, upon condition that 
the garrison should depart with their lives. Shortly after- 
wards, Rhys Fychan was taken at Caermardhyn and com- 
mitted to the king's prison, and so all the disturbances and 
troubles of South Wales came to a peaceable issue. But in 
North Wales it was not so; for Prince Lhewelyn, being 
desirous to rid his country from the insupportable tyranny 
and oppression of the English garrisons, laid siege to the 
castles of Diganwy and Ruddlan, the only places then 
remaining in the hands of the English, which he took with- 
out any great opposition, and thus freed his country from 
any title or pretence the king of England might claim in 
North Wales.* King John indeed was engaged another 
way, and consequently in no good condition to help him- 
self; for having expressed his regret on account of the 
indignities and obstinacy he had offered towards Pope 
Innocent, at this time he did penance before the Archbishop 
of Canterbury, to atone for all the severities he had prac- 
tised against the church; and to restore himself the more 
to his Holiness's favour, he made the kingdom of England 
tributary to the church of Rome, to be holden of the Pope, 
by payment of the sum of 1000 marks yearly for ever; and 
withal recalled and restored to their former preferments and 

* Annales Waverleiensis, p. 174. Welsh Chron. p. 270. 


places all such as had been banished, or had voluntarily 
fled the kingdom, on account of their strict adherence and 
submission to the Pope of Rome. 

A. D. 1214. Nor was this all ; for the next year King John, with two 
of his nobility, the Earls of Chester and Derby, were 
resolved upon a voyage to the Holy Land, but were pre- 
vented taking the journey by the rebellion of the barons, 
which now broke forth violently, because the king would 
not grant to them those ancient laws and privileges that 
their forefathers had always enjoyed. Therefore the barons 
entered into a confederacy with Prince Lhewelyn of North 
Wales, desiring him to make what diversion he could on his 
part, while they were resolved to do the same on theirs ; 
and having raised an army, they appointed Robert Fitz- 
walter their general. Coming to Bedford, they were 
honourably received into the castle by William Beauchamp, 
and from thence marching to London, they were entertained 
with all the expressions of joy. King John perceiving how 
powerful they were likely to prove, and that the country did 
in a great measure favour their cause, thought it his wisest 
way to nip them in the bud, and to fall upon them before 
they grew too strong ; and, therefore, having levied his 
forces, he marched, together with William Marshal Earl of 
Pembroke, towards the castle of Rochester : being arrived 
there, he laid close siege to the castle, but the governor, 
William de Albineto, so bravely defended it, that it could 
scarcely be taken after three months' siege ; at length, how- 
ever, the king's men attacked it so violently, that they took 
it by storm, where, besides William de Albineto, the king 
took several of the barons prisoners. This was a disastrous 
beginning to the design of the confederates, and what did 
not add a little to their misfortune, the Pope immediately 
1215. issued out a Bull of Excommunication against Lhewelyn 
Prince of Wales, and all the English barons that made war 
against King John, who was under the protection of the 
Church of Rome;* but Prince Lhewelyn did not regard his 
threatening anathemas, and therefore having raised an army, 
he came to Shrewsbury, which was delivered up to him 
without any resistance. Whilst Lhewelyn remained there, 
Giles de Bruce, Bishop of Hereford, one of the chief of 
this conspiracy, sent his brother Reynold to Brecknock, 
whom all the people readily owned for their lord ; therefore 
' without the least grumbling or opposition he received the 
castles of Abergavenny and Pencelhy, the Castelh Gwyn 
(or the White Castle), together with Grosmont castle and 

* Annales Waverleiensis, p. 182. Welsh Chron. p. 271. 


the island of Cynvric : and when the bishop came thither in 
person, lie had the castles of Aberhondhy, Hay, Buelht, 
and Blaenlhyfny also delivered up to him; but thinking he 
had enough himself, and being rather desirous to secure his 
interest, and to strengthen his party in the country, than to 
heap more upon his own shoulders than he was well able to 
support, he bestowed Payne castle, Chine, and all Elvel, 
upon Walter Fychan, the son of Eineon Clyd. 

In the mean time young Rhys, the son of Gruffydh ap 
Rhys, and his uncle Maelgon, were reconciled and made 
friends, and so coming both to Dyfed, they destroyed 
Arberth and Maenclochoc castles, and recovered all such 
lands as formerly belonged to them^ excepting Cemaes : but 
Rhys's brothers Maelgon and Owen^ went to North Wales 
and did homage and fealty to Prince Lhewelyn, whilst their 
brother Prince Rhys marched forward to Cydwely, and 
having rased the castles of Carnwylheon and Lhychwr, 
brought all the country thereabout under his subjection. 
This, however, did not satisfy the ambition of that young 
prince; for having once tasted the pleasures of victory, 
and the satisfaction of taking and demolishing towns, he was 
resolved to prosecute his conquest whilst Fortune seemed to 
favour his undertakings ; and, therefore, he led his army 
against Talybont castle, which belonged to Hugh de Miles, 
and forcing his entrance into the same,- he put a great num- 
ber of the garrison to the sword. The next day he marched 
to Sengennyth castle, but the garrison which kept it, think- 
ing it fruitless to attempt to oppose him, burnt the place 
and departed to Ystymlhwynarth : but he followed them 
closely, and the next day took that place and rased it to the 
ground, and wasted the country in such a violent manner, 
that in three days time he became master of all the castles 
and fortresses in all Gowerland and Morgannwc, and then 
returned home with great victory and triumph. At the 
same time Rhys Fychan, otherwise Rhys Gryg, the uncle of 
young Prince Rhys, obtained his liberty from the King of 
England, leaving his son with two others as pledges for his 
moderate and peaceable behaviour towards his subjects, 
whom at other times he had molested and oppressed. 
About this time the abbots of Tal y Llecheu and Ty Gwyn, 
were consecrated bishops, the former of St. David's, and 
the other of Bangor: and the Bishop of Hereford, who 
seemed to be the most violently inclined against King 
John, and was otherwise unwilling to part with what he had 
got in Wales, could not refuse the injunction of the Pope, 
by whose express command he was constrained to make 



peace with the king, which being concluded, in his return 
homeward, he died at Gloucester, leaving his estate to his 
brother Reginald, who had married the daughter of Prince 

Notwithstanding Giles de Bruce, Bishop of Hereford, 

had relinquished the confederacy, and become reconciled to 

King John, yet Prince Lhewelyn would not follow his 

example, and, therefore, with his whole army he marched 

against Caermardhyn, and took the castle in five days ; 

having rased it the ground, he successively laid siege to the 

castles of Lhanstephan, St. Cleare, and Talacharn, which 

he used after the same manner. From thence he went to 

Cardigan, and taking Emlyn castle, he subdued Cemaes, 

and then laying siege to Trefdraeth castle, in English called 

Newport, he soon took it, and afterwards rased it to the 

ground. His next design was upon Aberteifi and Cil- 

gerran castles, but the garrisons which defended them, 

finding it would be of no avail to wait his coming, and to 

endeavour to withstand his attempts against those places, 

voluntarily surrendered, and by that means prevented all the 

evils, which in opposing him, would in all probability have 

unavoidably come upon them. Prince Lhewelyn having 

thus successfully over-run and subdued all Caermardhyn and 

Cardigan, triumphantly returned to North Wales, being 

attended by several of the Welsh nobility, such as Howel ap 

Gruffydh ap Conan, Lhewelyn ap Meredith, Gwenwynwyn 

Lord of Powys, Meredith ap Rotpert, Maelgon and Rhy s 

Fychan the sons of Prince Rhys of South Wales, Rhys and 

Owen the sons of Gruffydh ap Rhys, together with all the 

power of Madoc ap Gruffydh Maylor Lord of Bromfield.f 

A. D. 1216. The next year Prince Lhewelyn returned to Aberteifi to 

compose a difference, which since his departure had 

happened betwixt Maelgon and Rhys Fychan, sons of 

Prince Rhys, on the one side, and Rhys and Owen, sons of 

Gruffydh ap Rhys, on the other. To make up this quarrel, 

and to bring all matters to a quiet and amicable issue, 

Prince Lhewelyn made an equal distribution of South 

Wales betwixt them, alloting to Maelgon three Cantrefs in 

Dyfed, viz. Gwarthaf, Penlhwynoc, Cemaes, and Emlyn, 

with Cilgerran castle ; to young Rhys, two castles in 

Ystratywy, Hirvryn and Maelhaen, Maenor Bydfey, with 

the castle of Lhanymdhyfry, and two in Cardigan, Gwyn- 

ionyth and Mahwyneon. His brother Owen had to his 

share the castles of Aberteifi and Nant yr Arian, with three 


* Welsh Chron. p. 273. 
t Welsh Chrop. p. 273. Hist. Gwedir Family, p. 26. 


Cantrefs in Cardigan ; and Rhys Fychan, otherwise called 
Rhys Gryc, had Dynefawr castle, the Cantref Mawr, the 
Cantref By chan, excepting Hirvryn and Midhfey, together 
with the Comotes of Cydwely and Carnwylhion. This 
division being accomplished to every one's satisfaction, and 
all the lords of South Wales being amicably reconciled. 
Prince Lhewelyn took his journey for North Wales ; but he 
had not advanced far, when intelligence was brought him 
that Gwenwynwyn Lord of Powys had revolted, and was 
become again the King of England's subject. This un- 
welcome news struck very deep in the prince's mind, 
because Gwenwynwyn was a man of great power and 
strength in the country, and of great service to repel the 
incursions of the English upon the marches, which now, 
h(i having gone over to the English interest, could not, as 
Lhewelyn feared, be so well effected. However, to make 
the best of a bad matter, he endeavoured to withdraw him 
from the English, and to restore him to his former allegiance 
due to himself as his natural prince ; and to that end, he 
sent to him some bishops and abbots to put him in mind 
of the oath and promise he had entered into, and that he, 
with the rest of the lords of Wales, had bound himself to 
oppose the English to the utmost of his power, and had 
delivered pledges for the sure performance of what he had 
then by oath engaged in; and lest he should have forgotten 
what he had then promised, he was desired to read his own 
hand-writing, whereby it was apparent that he had very 
unjustly violated both his oath and promise : but all the 
rhetoric the bishops could make use of, was not of force 
sufficient to induce Gwenwynwyn to become reconciled to 
the Prince and to oppose the King of England; and, 
therefore, seeing nothing else would do, Prince Lhewelyn 
resolved to make him incapable of serving the English, and 
entering Powys with a strong army, he subdued the whole 
country to himself, Gwenwynwyn being forced to fly for 
succour to the Earl of Chester.* 

Whilst these things passed in Wales, Lewis, the Dauphin 
of France, being invited by the English barons against 
King John, landed in the island of Thanet, and marching 
forward to London, he there received homage of all the 
barons that were in actual war against the king. Then 
going forward towards Winchester, where King John lay, 
he took in his way the castles of Rygate, Guildford, and 
Farnham,' and coming to Winchester, had the town im- 
mediately surrendered to him. King John did not think it 


* Welsh Chron. p. 274. 


advisable to abide his coming, but removing to Hereford, 
in the marches of Wales, he sent to Prince Lhewelyn and 
Reynald de Bruce, desiring their friendship, and imploring 
their aid and assistance against the French ; and Ilicy 
refusing to hearken to his proposals, he destroyed Radnor 
and Hay castles, and marching forward to Oswestry,* which 
belonged to John Fitzalan, he burnt it to the ground, and 
then departed towards the North : but after he had settled 
his affairs there, and appointed governors in all the towns 
and places of strength, whilst he was making all necessary 
preparations at Newark to confront the barons, he fell sick, 
and in a short time died, and was buried at Worcester. 

After his death his son Henry was by several of the 
English nobility proclaimed king, and in a little while, 
most of the barons, who on account of their hatred to King 
John, had maintained an open war against that monarch, 
came in and owned their allegiance to his son Henry, 
though contrary to their oath to Lewis the Dauphin : but 
A. D.1217. what was most disastrous to the Welsh, Reynald de Bruce, 
who had all this while maintained a confederacy with Prince 
Lhewelyn, his father-in-law, against King John, secretly 
made his peace with King Henry. He suffered severely, 
however, for his treachery; for young Rhys, and Owen his 
nephew by his sister, seeing that he in whom they put their 
greatest confidence, had deceitfully forsaken them, came 
upon him with all their power, and took from him all 
Buelht, excepting only the castle. Prince Lhewelyn was 
immediately made acquainted with Bmce's revolt, and as 
soon as he was informed that his son-in-law was gone over 
to the King of England, he went in great fury to Breck- 
nockshire, and laying siege to Aberhondhu, its principal 
town, he was with much persuasion prevailed upon by 
young Rhys to raise the siege for the sum of a hundred 
marks, and at the same time receiving five hostages ; and 
then crossing the mountainous part of Glamorgan, called 
the Black Mountains, where his carriages suffered very 
much, he came to Gwyr, and encamping at Lhangruc, 
Reynald de Bruce with six knights in his company, came to 
meet him, desiring his pardon for his past offence, as- 
suring him that in future he would be true and faithful to 
him, and would do his utmost to assist him against the King 
of England. Prince Lhewelyn accepted his submission, 
and not only received him again to his favour, but bestowed 
upon him the castle of Senghennyth, which Reynald after- 
wards committed to the custody of Rhys Fychan. 


* Welsh Chron. p. 275. 


Prince Lhewelyn having put all things in order in Gwyr, 
marched to Dyfed, and being at Cefn Cynwarchan, the 
Flemings sent their agents to him to desire peace, which 
the prince, because they always adhered to the English 
interest, would not grant them. Young Rhys was the first 
man to pass the river Cledheu to storm the town; but 
lorwerth bishop of St. David's, with the rest of his clergy, 
came to the prince to intreat for a peace for the Flemings, 
which, after a long discussion, was granted upon these 
terms: first, That all the inhabitants of Rhos, and the 
country of Pembroke, should from thence forward swear 
allegiance to Prince Lhewelyn, and ever after acknowledge 
his sovereignty ; secondly, That towards the defraying of 
his charges in this expedition, they should pay one thousand 
marks, to be delivered to him before the ensuing feast of St. 
Michael ; thirdly, That for the sure performance of these 
articles they should deliver up twenty hostages, who were 
to be some of the principal persons in their country.* Then 
Prince Lhewelyn having brought all Wales into subjection 
to himself, and put matters in a settled posture in South 
Wales, returned to North Wales, having gained consider- 
able honour and esteem for his martial achievements in this 

All matters of difference being now adjusted, and the 
Welsh in good hopes of a durable freedom from all troubles 
and hostilities, another accident unhappily occurred to cross 
their expectation. Lewis the Dauphin, perceiving the English 
barons slighted and forsook him, concluded a peace with 
King Henry, and returned to France and the king having 
made a promise to the barons that, he would grant all their 
requests, and redress their grievances, they made their sub- 
mission, without including the Welsh in their articles. 
They had until this time gladly embraced the friendship 
and aid of the Prince of Wales ; but now, upon their recon- 
ciliation with the king, thinking they had no farther need of 
him, they basely forsook him who had been the principal 
support and succour of their cause : and not only so, but 
they conspired together to carry their arms against Wales, 
thinking they could, without any breach of equity or con- 
science, take away the lands of the Welsh, to make addition 
to what some of them had already unjustly possessed them- 
selves of. William Marshal Earl of Pembroke commenced 
the work, and coming unexpectedly upon the Welsh, took 
the town of Caerlheon ;f but he gained nothing by this, for 
Rhys Fychan perceiving what was his intention, destroyed 

* Welsh Chron. p. 278. f Ibid. 


Senghennyth castle, and all the other places under his con- 
troul in that country, and banishing the English with their 
wives and children, divided the country betwixt the Welsh, 
who kept sure possession of it. Prince Lhewelyn also find- 
A.D. 1218. ing that those had become his foes, who had but lately 
courted his friendship, and fearing lest the English being 
now in arms should make any attempt upon his castles, 
augmented the garrisons of Caermardhyn and Aberteifi, to 
make them capable of withstanding the English, in case 
they should come against them. Though the Welsh and 
English were thus at open variance and in actual hostility 
one against the other, yet young Rhys, with Prince Lhe- 
welyn's approbation and consent, thought it advisable to go 
and do homage to the king of England, for his lands in 
Wales. It might have been thought a matter of superero- 
gation thus to pay court to one who was a declared enemy to 
all the Welsh, and one that would not in all probability 
suffer him to enjoy a quiet possession of his estate, if he had 
ability and opportunity to eject him : but the Welsh interest 

1219. was now greatly augmented by a new alliance with some of 
the most powerful among the English ; Rhys Gryc, son of 
Prince Rhys, being married to the Earl of Clare's daughter ; 
and Marret, daughter of Prince Lhewelyn, to John de 

The Prince of Wales had very soon an occasion to exer- 
cise his power, for the Flemings in Dyfed, who had lately 
sworn allegiance to him, began now to repent of what they 
had but a short time ago gladly submitted to, and contrary 
to their oaths, and to the league they had sworn to observe, 
they attacked Aberteifi castle, which they took. Prince 
Lhewelyn, being highly displeased with the treacherous 
practices of these perjured Flemings, marched with all 
speed to Aberteifi, and having recovered the castle, which 
he afterwards rased, he put all the garrison to the sword. 
Gwys was served in the same manner, and the town of 

1220. Haverford was burnt to the ground, and overrunning Rhos 
and Daugledhau,f he committed a lamentable destruction 
throughout the whole country. This the Flemings received 
as the due reward of their sinistrous dealing, which soon 
made them aware of their folly, and their imprudent be- 
haviour towards the Prince of Wales ; and therefore being 
mournfully convinced how unable they were to prevent his 
farther progress by force of arms, they made overtures for a 


* Welsh Chron. p. 279. Some time afterwards he likewise married another of hi 
daughters to a Scotch lord, who was nephew and heir to the Earl of Chester. 
Holinshead, p. 204. 

f Or Two Swords." 


cessation of all hostilities till the May following, which being 
granted them upon strict conditions, Prince Lhewelyn re- 
turned to North Wales. In the mean time some Welsh 
lords besieged Bnelht castle, which was in the }x>ssession of 
Reynald Bruce, but before they could take it, King Henry 
brought an army to the marches and raised the siege, and 
then marching forward to Montgomery, built a new castle 
in that town.* 

The next year an unhappy dissension fell out betwixt A. D. 1221. 
Prince Lhewelyn and his son Gruffydh ; the latter having 
kept himself in possession of the Cantref of Merioneth, con- 
trary to the consent arid approbation of his father. The 
Prince, therefore, having now no great matter of moment 
abroad, was resolved to curb the insolence of his son, and 
sent to him to command his appearance, and to direct him 
to deliver up the Cantref quietly, lest he should be forced to 
take it violently out of his hands. Gruffydh was not in the 
least dismayed at his threatenings, but being resolved to 
keep what at present he enjoyed, would neither go to his 
father, nor deliver up the Cantref to him. The Prince 
being enraged that he should be so slighted by his son, 
made a vehement protestation, that he would be severely 
revenged both of him and all his accomplices ; and therefore 
coming to Merionyth with a great army, was resolved to 
drive his son out of the country. Gruffydh made all pos- 
sible preparations to oppose his father, and drew up his 
forces to give him battle ; but when both armies were ready 
to join, the differences between them were happily com- 
posed, and Gruffydh prevailed upon to make his submission 
to his father, f The prince, though he forgave his son his 
offence, and received him to favour, would not, however, 
permit him to enjoy Merionyth and Ardydwy ; but taking 
them away from him, and building a castle ill the latter, 
returned home. He had not continued long at his palace 
at Aberffraw, when another occasion called him abroad ; 
for young Rhys, being disappointed of Aberteifi, which in 
the division of South Wales was allotted to his share, forsook 
the prince, and put himself under the protection of William 
Marshal Earl of Pembroke. Prince Lhewelyn, hearing this, 
marched in great haste to Aberystwyth, and being desirous 
to punish Rhys for his desertion from his allegiance, seized 
to his own use that castle, together with all the domain and 
lands belonging to it. When Rhys understood what the 
prince had done, he made an immediate complaint to the 
King of England, who coming to Shrewsbury, and sending 


* Matthew Paris, p. 262. t Welsh Chron. p. 280, 


for Prince Lhewelyn, so adjusted matters between them,* 
that the Prince promised to treat with Rhys for Aberteifi, 
after the same manner as he had done with Maelgon for 
Caermardhyn. Towards the close of the year, John Bruce, 
Prince Lhewelyn's son-in-law, obtained leave to fortify 
Senghennyth castle, which in right of the prince's grant to 
Reynald de Bruce belonged to him. Young Rhys did not 
long survive the agreement between him and Prince Lhe- 
welyn, for he died the following year, and was buried at 
Ystratflur : after whose death the prince divided his estate 
between his brother Owen and his uncle Maelgon. 
A. D. 1222. William Marshal Earl of Pembroke was now in Ireland, 
busily engaged in prosecuting the war against the King of 
England's enemies in that kingdom ; and taking advantage 
of the opportunity of his absence, Prince Lhewelyn won the 
castles of Aberteifi and Caermardhyn, belonging to the Earl, 
and putting both the garrisons to the sword, placed in their 
room a strong party of his own men ;f but when the Earl 
was informed of what the Prince of Wales had done, he 
immediately left Ireland, and landed at St. David's with a 
great army, and having recovered his castles, he treated the 
Welsh after the same manner that Prince Lhewelyn had used 
his garrisons, and passing forward into the prince's country, 
destroyed all before him as he went along. The Prince 
understanding with what violence he came forward, sent his 
son Gruffydh with a considerable body of men to check his 
fury ; who coming to Cydwely, and receiving intelligence 
that the chief men of that place had a private design to 
betray him to the enemy, he put the whole town in flames, 
and burnt it to the ground, without sparing either churches 
or other religious houses. The Earl of Pembroke had 
passed the river Tywy at Caermardhyn, where Gruffydh 
met him, and gave him battle; but the victory proved so 
uncertain, that night at length parted them ; and then the 
English retired over the river. Matthew Paris writes, that 
the Earl obtained a very signal victory, and that of the 
Welsh there were nine thousand slain and taken; though 
the Welsh account, which in this case is in all likelihood 
the best, makes the whole army of the Welsh to consist but 
of that number.:}: Both armies having lain for certain days 
in a posture of defence, with the river Tywy between them, 
Gruffydh, on account of provision beginning to grow scarce 
in his camp, returned back; and then the Earl also de- 

* Welsh Chron. pp. 281, 282. 

t Chr. Thomas Wykes, p. 41. Chronica Walter! Hemingford, p. 564. Matth. Westm. 
p. 86. Matth, Paris, p. 267. 

t Welsh Chron. p. 282. Ibid. 


camped, and marched to Cilgerran, where he began to build 
a very strong castle ; but before he had time to finish it, he 
received an express from the king, with orders to come to 
him ; and so he went by sea to London, leaving his army 
at Cilgerran, to continue the work which he had begun. 
Shortly after, the king, together with the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, came to Ludlow, and sendhijg for Prince Lhe- 
welyn thither, they hoped to adjust all differences, and to 
make an amicable arrangement between him and the Earl ; 
but this could not be effected, both parties adhering to their 
own private views; the Earl, therefore, being assisted by 
the Earl of Derby and Henry Pyggot Lord of Ewyas, pur- 
posed to pass by land to Pembroke ; but his intention being 
discovered to the prince, he detached his son to secure the 
passage of Carnwylhion, and came in person to Mahedryd ; 
which when the Earl understood, finding it dangerous to 
prosecute his design any further, he returned to England ; 
and then the prince marched to North Wales.* The next A. D. 1227. 
action that passed in Wales was of a nature somewhat 
rare, and not redounding much to the credit of the 
Welsh ; for Rhys Fychan having by some treacherous 
means or other taken prisoner his father Rhys Gryc, con- 
trary to all filial affection and duty, detained him prisoner, 
and would not set him at liberty till he had delivered up 
Lhanymdhyfri castle to him. About the same time, 
Meredith Archdeacon of Cardigan, son of Prince Rhys, 
departed this life, and was honourably interred at St. 
David's, by his father. 

A short time after, a great storm threatened the Welsh ; j 2 28. 
King Henry having raised a numerous army, was resolved 
to prosecute to a termination the Earl of Pembroke's quar- 
rel against the Prince of Wales, and if possible, to make all 
that country for ever subject to the crown of England ; and, 
advancing into the marches, he encamped at Ceri.f Prince 
Lhewelyn, on the other hand, being informed of these 
mighty preparations in England, and understanding that 
they were intended against him, used all the endeavours 
possible to make a vigorous resistance ; and having drawn 
together all the forces he was able to levy, thought it his 
wisest plan to meet the English upon the marches, and not 
to permit them to enter his country. Both armies being 
come in sight of each other, frequent skirmishes happened 
betwixt them; but one day, almost the whole of both 
armies engaged, and after a vigorous attack on both sides, 
the English got the worst, and were forced to retire, having 

* Welsh Chron. p. 283. f In Montgomeryshire. 


a great number of men slain and taken prisoners. Among 
the latter, was William de Bruce, Reynald's son, who 
offered for his ransom all Buelht, together with a consider- 
able sum of money, which the prince would not accept. 
King Henry, finding that his army was worsted in this 
encounter, thought it advisable to make peace with the 
Prince of Wales, which being concluded, Lhewelyn came to 
the king, and having paid him all other respects, excepting 
that of submission and allegiance, he returned in great 
honour to North Wales. This action is somewhat other- 
wise laid down by Matthew Paris,* who writes, that this 
skirmish betwixt the English and Welsh happened upon 
another account. He says, the garrison of Montgomery 
issuing out of the castle to enlarge a certain passage leading 
through a wood, where the Welsh were wont to rob and 
kill all passengers, began to fell the timber, and cut down 
all the bushes which bounded the road, thereby intending 
to make the passage more clear and secure. The Welsh 
receiving intelligence of this, came immediately upon them 
in great numbers, and surprising the men of the garrison, 
who were busy at their labour, forced as many as could 
escape to betake themselves for refuge into the castle, which 
afterwards, having first cast a deep trench about it, they 
boldly invested. Hubert de Burgh, Lord Chief Justice of 
England, and owner of the castle, having notice of this, sent 
to King Henry, desiring his speedy help against the Welsh, 
who thereupon came in person with part of his army, and 
raised the siege. Then, the rest of his forces being arrived, 
he marched into the wood, which was 5 miles in length,f and 
by reason of the thickness of the growth, impassable ; and, 
for an easy passage through it, caused it to be burnt down. 
After that, he led his army farther into the country, and 
coming to an abbey called Cridia,J to which the Welsh were 
wont to resort for refuge, he caused it to be burnt down ; 
but finding it a very convenient place for a fortress, he 
granted leave to Hubert de Burgh to build a castle there. 
Whilst the work of building this castle was going on, the 
Welshmen annoyed the English, and skirmished with them 
frequently, so that many were slain on both sides ; but at 
last William de Bruce with many others that went abroad to 
fetch provision, were intercepted by the Welsh, and taken 
prisoners, and most of Bruce's company were slain, amorig 


* Matthew Paris, p. 295. 

f Warrington (vol. ii. p. 56) says this wood was 15 miles in length. 
J A solitary place, called Cridia, of the Carmelite order, an abbey belonging to the 
White Friars. 

Matthew Paris, p. 295. 


whom one that was knighted a few days before, seeing some 
of his fellows in great danger, rushed boldly into the midst 
of his enemies, and after a manful defence bravely lost his 
life. Several of King Henry's men were corrupted by 
Prince Lhewelyn, and upon that account took no great pains 
to repulse the enemy ; which when the king perceived, and 
finding withal that provision was grown very scarce in his 
camp, he was forced to conclude a dishonourable peace with 
the Welsh, consenting to demolish that castle, which with 
so great an expence both of men and money was now almost 
finished upon his own charges, Prince Lhewelyn paying 
only three thousand pounds towards it.* Then both armies 
separated, Prince Lhewelyn marching to North Wales ; and 
the king, leaving William de Bruce prisoner with the 
Welsh, returned to England, having obtained much dis- 
credit in this expedition. 

William de Bruce was brought to Wales^ and there had A. D. 1230. 
an honourable confinement in the prince's palace ;f but he 
had not continued there "long before he began to be sus- 
pected of being too familiar with the princess, King Henry's 
sister ; and, as the report went, was taken in the very act of 
adultery ; for which the prince caused him to be hanged 
forthwith.^ About the same time, Lhewelyn, son of Mael- 
gon, died in North Wales, and was buried at Conwey : and 
Maelgon, son of Prince Rhys, in South Wales, and was 
buried at Ystratflur; whose estate descended to his son 
Maelgon. A little afterwards William Marshal Earl of 
Pembroke died, one that ever entertained an inveterate 1231. 
enmity to the Welsh, and upon whose account King Henry 
had chiefly brought his army into Wales. He was suc- 
ceeded both in his title and estate by his brother Richard, 
who was much more favourably inclined towards the Welsh, 
and never attempted any thing against them. The King of 
England now resolved to retrieve the honour he had lost in 


* Matthew Paris, p. 295. f At Aber. 

J Matthew West. p. 97, says, he was put to death without reason ; so say many 
other English writers. The tradition of the country is, that a bard of the palace, acci- 
dentally meeting with the princess, (who was ignorant of the fate of her lover,) accosted 
her in the following manner j and on receiving her answer, shewed him to her hanging 
on a tree. 

Diccyn doccyn, gwraig Llywelyn, 
Beth y roit'i am weled Gwilim ? 

The princess's answer > 

Cymry, Lloegr, a Llywelyn 
Y rown'i gyd, am weled Gwilim. 

BARD. Tell me, wife of Llywelyn, what would you give for a sight of your William ? 
PRINCESS. Wales, England, and Llywelyn to boot, I would give them all to see my 


the late expedition against the Welsh ; and therefore being 
returned from France, whither he had made a descent, to 
recover what his father had lost in that kingdom, he came to 
Wales; and having remained some time in the marches, 
he returned again to England, leaving his army under the 
command of Hubert Burgh Earl of Kent, to defend the 
marches against any inroad which the Welsh might attempt. 
He had not remained there long, when he received intelli- 
gence that a party of Welsh had entered the marches near 
Montgomery, whom he forthwith pursued, and attacking 
them unawares, he put a great number of them to the sword. 
Prince Lhewelyn, hearing of this, came in person with a 
great army to the marches, and encamping before Mont- 
gomery castle, he forced Hubert to withdraw, and then 
making himself master of the place, he burnt it to the 
ground, and put the garrison to the sword ; the like fate 
attended the castles of Radnor, Aberhondhy, RhayadrGwy, 
Caerlheon, Neth, and Cydwely; though Caerlheon held 
out very obstinately, and the prince had several of his men 
destroyed before the place. King Henry being informed 
what miserable desolation the Prince of Wales was success- 
fully committing upon his subjects in these countries, had 
him immediately excommunicated; and then coming to 
Hereford with a mighty army, he detached the greatest part 
of it, with a great number of his nobility, to Wales. These, 
by the direction of a friar of Cymer, unexpectedly, as they 
thought, fell upon a party of Welsh ; who at the first en- 
counter seemed to fly, till they had allured the English to 
pursue them to a place where a greater party of Welsh lay 
in ambuscade ; who rushing of a sudden upon the English, 
put them in such confusion, that the greatest part of them 
were cut off. The king, being convinced that this was a 
treacherous device of the friar, was resolved to be revenged, 
by burning the abbey of Cymer ; but the prior, for three 
hundred marks, prevented it ; and so the king returned to 
England, having effected nothing in this expedition, besides 
the building of Mawd castle. In the mean time, Maelgon, 
son of Maelgon ap Rhys, laid siege to Aberteifi, and having 
by force got entry into the town, he put all the inhabitants 
to the sword, then destroyed all before him to the castle 
gates, which were so strongly fortified, that it seemed almost 
impracticable to take it in any short time ; but Maelgon, 
being joined by his cousin Owen, son of Gruffydh ap Rhys, 
was resolved to try the utmost that could be effected ; and 
therefore taking with him some of Prince Lhewelyn's most 
experienced officers, he broke down the bridge upon the 



river Teifi, and then investing the castle more closely, he so 
battered and undermined it, that he became in a little time 
master of it. 

The year following, Prince Lhewelyn made a descent A. D. 1232. 
upon England, and having committed very considerable 
waste and destruction upon the borders, he returned to 
North Wales with a rich booty in prisoners and cattle. 
King Henry, to scourge the Welsh for these grievous 
devastations, and to prevent their further incursions into 
England, demanded a very great subsidy of his subjects to 
carry on the war against the Welsh ; which being granted 
him, he made every preparation for his expedition to Wales/ 
In the mean time, Randulph Earl of Chester died, and was* 
succeeded in that honour by John his sister's son, who was 
afterwards married to Prince Lhewelyn's daughter. The 
English in Wales, being in expectation of King Henry's 
coming thither, began to repair and fortify their castles ; 
and particularly, Richard Earl of Cornwal rebuilt Radnor 1233. 
castle, which the prince had lately destroyed. Prince 
Lhewelyn was sufficiently aware that the king of England 
intended an invasion, and therefore to be before-hand with 
him, he came with an army to Brecknock, and destroyed all 
the towns and Castles throughout the country, excepting 
Brecknock castle, which was defended so manfully, that 
after a month's encampment before it, he was at last con- 
strained to raise the siege. In his return to North Wales, 
he burnt the town of Clun, recovered all the country called 
Dyflfryn Tefeidiat, in the possession of John Fitzalan, de- 
stroyed Red Castle in Powis, and burnt Oswestry.* At 
this time, very fortunately for the Welsh, Richard Marshal 
Earl of Pembroke, having differed with King Henry, took 
part with Prince Lhewelyn ; with whom joined Hubert de 
Burgh, who had lately made his escape out of the castle of 
Devizes, where the king, upon some articles of information 
brought against him, had committed him to prison.f The 
Earl of Pembroke, attended by Owen ap Gruffydh ap Rhys, 
came to St. David's ; and being very glad of an opportunity 
to revenge himself upon the king, slew every one that owned 
any dependence upon the crown of England. Maelgon and 
Rhys Gryc, with all the forces of Prince Lhewelyn, quickly 
joined the Earl ; and they in their march through the country 

Q 2 

* Matthew Paris, p. 28. 

f Among other frivolous crimes objected against this minister, he was accused of pur- 
loining from the royal treasury a gem, which had the virtue of rendering the wearer 
invulnerable, and of sending this valuable curiosity to the Prince of North Wales. 
Matthew Paris, p. 259. 


took the castles of CardyfF, Abergavenny, Pencelby, 
Blaenlhefyni, and Bwlch y Dinas, all of which, excepting 
CardyfF, they burnt to the ground. The king receiving 
intelligence that the Earl of Pembroke had entered into 
a confederacy with the Prince of Wales, and that he was 
now in open hostility against his subjects in that country, 
gathered a very formidable army, consisting, besides Eng- 
lish, of Flemings, Normans, and Gascoigns ; and coming to 
Wales, he encamped at Grosmont, where the Earl with the 
Welsh army met him. But when the English would have 
endeavoured to advance further into the country, the Welsh 
opposed them, and a battle ensued, wherein the English lost 
five hundred horse, besides a far greater number of their 
infantry. The Welsh having gained a considerable victory 
in this action, the king was advised to withdraw his forces, 
lest the Welsh should again attack them, and they should 
sustain a greater loss; which counsel the king willingly 
hearkened to, and returned for England. The English 
being withdrawn, the Earl likewise decamped, and marched 
to Caermardhyn, which he besieged ; but after three months 
vain assault, the garrison most bravely defending the place, 
and the English fleet having thrown in new provisions, he 
thought it most advisable to raise the siege. Shortly after, 
Rhys Gryc, son to Prince Rhys, died at Lhandeilo Fawr, 
and was honourably interred by his father at St. David's. 
About the same time, Maelgon Fychan, son of Maelgon ap 
Rhys, finished Trefilean castle, which was begun in his 
father's time. 

A. D. 1234. King Henry was not willing to hazard any more cam- 
paigns in Wales, and therefore he appointed John of 
Monmouth, a great soldier and general of the English 
forces, warden of the marches of Wales, who thinking to 
get to himself an eternal name in conquering the Welsh, 
raised all the power he could ; and imagining that the 
Welsh would not be aware of his purpose, he thought he 
could fall upon the Earl Marshal unexpectedly: but in 
this he was, to his sorrow, much mistaken ; for the Earl 
having received private intimation of his design, hid himself 
and his forces in a wood by which the English were to 
march, and when they were come to a certain place, the 
Welsh of a sudden gave a great shout, and leaping out of 
the place in which they had concealed themselves, they fell 
upon the English, who were unprovided, and putting their 
whole army to flight, they slew an infinite number both of 
the English and their auxiliaries. John of Monmouth 
himself niade his escape by flight ; but the Earl Marshal 



entering his country, destroyed it by fire and sword; and 
what added to the misery of the English, Prince Lhewelyn, 
in the week after Epiphany, joining the Earl Marshal, made 
an incursion into the king's territories, destroying all before 
them, from the confines of Wales to Shrewsbury,* a great 
part of which they laid in ashes. King Henry was during 
these transactions with the Bishop of Winchester at Glou- 
cester, and for want of sufficient power or courage to 
confront the enemy, durst not take the field; of which 
being at length perfectly ashamed, he removed to Win- 
chester, leaving the marches exposed to the mercy of the 
enemy. There being now no apprehension of attack from 
the English, the Earl of Pembroke, by the counsel of 
Geoffrey de Marisco, transported his army into Ireland, 
thinking to obtain a conquest in that kingdom ; but in the 
first encounter with the Irish, he was unfortunately slain 
through the treachery of his own men :. and so his estate 
and title descended to his brother Gilbert. 

King Henry, finding it impracticable to force the Welsh 
to a submission, and being in a great measure weary of 
continual wars and incessant hostilities, thought it most 
prudent to make some honourable agreement with the 
Prince of Wales ; and therefore he deputed Edmund Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, the Bishops of Rochester, Coventry, 
Lichfield, and Chester, to treat with Prince Lhewelyn 
about a peace, f When the king .came to meet with them 
on their return from this negociation, being at Woodstock, 
he was informed of the death of the Earl of Pembroke, 
which he took so much to heart that he shed tears, being 
afflicted for the death of so great a person, who, as the 
king openly declared, had not left his second in all his king- 
dom. Going from thence to Gloucester, he met with the 
archbishop and bishops, who delivered to him the form of 
the treaty of peace with Prince Lhewelyn, which the latter 
would not conclude but upon this condition : That all the 
English nobility who were confederated with him, and by 
evil counsel were exiled, should be recalled and restored to 
the king's favour. The Archbishop further acquainted his 
Majesty with what difficulty he had brought the matter to 
this conclusion, being sometimes forced to add threatenings 
on the king's behalf, as also on behalf of his clergy ; to 
which menaces the prince is said to have answered, that 
he bore more regard to the king's charity and piety than he 
did fear of his arms or dread of his clergy. The king, who 
was very desirous of a peace, readily consented to what the 

* Matthew Paris, p. 332. f Brady's History of England, vol. 1, p. 335. 


prince required; and therefore he issued out his letters, 
recalling all the nobles who were outlawed, or otherwise 
exiled, requiring them to appear at Gloucester upon Sun- 
day next before Ascension-day, where they should receive 
their pardons, and have their estates restored to them, 
which the king had taken into his own hands. 

The peace being thus concluded betwixt the English and 
Welsh, Prince Lhewelyn set his son Gruffydh at liberty, 
whom, for his disobedient and restless humour, he had 
detained in close prison for the space of six years.* About 
the same time, Cadwalhon ap Maelgon, of Melienydh, de- 
parted this life, who was soon followed by Owen, son of 
Gruffydh ap Rhys, a person of great worth, and exceedingly 
beloved, who was buried at Ystratflur by his brother Rhys. 
A. D. 1235. The year following, died Owen ap Meredith ap Rotpert, of 
(Cydewen; and not long after him, Madawc the son of 
Gruffydh Maelor, Lord of Bromfield, Chirk, and Yale, 
who was buried at the abbey of Lhan Egwest, or Valle 
Crucis, which he had built, leaving issue one son called 
Gruffydh, who succeeded into the possession of all these 
Jordships.f A short time after, Gilbert Earl of Pembroke 
got by treachery Marchen castle, which belonged to Morgan 
ap Howel, and fortified the same very strongly, for fear of 
Prince Lhewelyn. The next spring Joan, King John's 
daughter, and Princess of Wales, departed this life, and 
was buried, according to her own desire, upon the sea^ 
shore, at a place called Lhanfaes, in the isle of Anglesey ; 
where the Prince, in memory of her, afterwards founded a 
religious house for the order of mendicant. friars.J About 
the same time also died John Scot, Earl of Chester, with- 
out any issue, upon which account the king seized that 
earldom into his own hands. Hugh Lupus was the first 
that enjoyed this honour, who coming over to England with 
the Conqueror, was by him created Earl of Chester and 
Sword-bearer of England; ffabendum et tenendum dictum 
comitatum Cestriee, sibi et hceredibus suis 9 ita libere ad 
gladiu?n, si$ut ip$e rex totam tenebat Anglican ad coror 
nam : To have and to hold the said county of Chester to 
him and his heirs, by right of the sword, as freely and 
securely as the king held the realm of England in the right 


* Welsh Chron. p. 292. We are not acquainted with the nature of the offence by 
which Gruffydd had again incurred his father's displeasure. But there was a rigour 
interwoven into the destiny of this gallant prince, which discoloured the whole tenor pf 
his life, and has marked him the child of adversity. 

f Welsh Chn.n.'p 293 

\ A testimony of respect to her memory, which renders at least doubtful the criminal 
part of her conduct; and may, in some degree, take away the stain which history has 
cast upun her fa/ne.- Welsh Chron. p. 293. See note in History of Gwedir family. 


of the crown. After five descents, Randolph Bohun came 
to be Earl of Chester, who was uncle to this John, the last 
Earl. This Randolph had several encounters with Prince 
Lhewelyn, and was in continual warfare against him ; but 
once more particularly meeting with the prince, and being 
sensible of his inability to withstand him, he was obliged to 
retire for refuge to the castle of Ruddlan, which the prince 
immediately besieged. Randolph, perceiving himself to be 
in danger, sent to Roger Lacy, constable of Chester, re- 
qoesting him to raise what strength he possibly coold and 
come to his assistance in this extremity ; upon which Lacy 
called to him all his friends, and desired them to make all 
the endeavours in their power to rescue the Earl from that 
imminent danger which now threatened him : on this re- 
quest, Ralph Dutton, son-in-law of Lacy, a valiant youth, 
assembled together all the players and musicians, and such 
others as then, being fair- time, had met to make merry, 
and presenting them to the constable, he forthwith marched 
to Ruddlan, raised the siege, and delivered the Earl from 
his perilous situation. Tn recompence for this service, the 
Earl granted to the constable several freedoms and privi- 
leges; and to Dutton the ruling and ordering all players 
and musicians within the said county, to be enjoyed by him 
and by his heirs for ever. 

In the year 1238, Prince Lheweiyn, being indisposed in A. D. 1238. 
body, called onto him all the lords and barons of Wales to 
Ystratflur,* where each of them swore to remain troe and 
faithful sobjects, and did homage to David his son, whom 
he had named to socceed him.t Matthew ParisJ writes, 
that Prince Lhewelyn being impotent by reason of a palsy, 
and sore disquieted by his son Gruffydh, sent ambassadors 
to the king of England, signifying to him, that forasmojch 
as he coold not expect to live long by reason of his age, he 
was desiroos to lead the remainder of his days in peace and 
tranquillity ; and therefore now purposed to subrnit himself 
to the government and protection of the king, and would 
hold his lands of him; promising withal, that whenever the 
king should stand in need of his help, he would serve him 
both with men and money to the utmost of his power.g 
The bishops of Hereford and Chester were sent as mediators 
in his behalf,]) though some of the nobility of Wales openly 
and peremptorily withstood it, and upon no condition what- 
soever would accept of such a peace.lf David being thus 


* Strata Florida, 
f Welsh Chron. p. 297. British Ant. Reviv. by Vaughan of Hengwrt, p. 23. 

J Matthew Paris, p. 369. Welsh Chron. p. 297. 

|| Brady's History of England, p. 567. Matthew Paris, p. 369. 

$ Welsh Chron. p. 298. Matthew Paris, 369. Matthew Westm. p. 110. 


declared successor to the principality, began to molest his 
brother Gruffydh, who, though his elder, was base-born, 
and took from him Arustly, Ceri, Cyfeilioc, Mowdhwy, 
Mocbnant, and Caereineon, and let him only enjoy the 
Cantref of Lhyn ; but a little afterwards he dispossessed 
him of all, and contrary to his oath to the bishop of Bangor, 
in whose protection Gruffydh then remained, took him 
prisoner, (having, upon promise that no violence should be 
done to him, obtained an interview with him,) and sent him 
A. D. 1240. to Cricieth castle.* Whilst these two brothers continued 
to entertain an irreconcileable hatred one to another, their 
father, Prince Lhewelyn ap lorwerth, to the great regret of 
all the Welsh, departed this life, and was honourably in- 
terred in the abbey of Conwey, after he had reigned fifty-six 
years.f He was a prince of great courage, and had no less 
prudence in contriving than boldness in executing any mar- 
tial adventure; he was a great support to the Welsh, and 
no less an annoyance to the English ; he made very consi- 
derable conquests upon the borders, and extended the 
frontiers of Wales much beyond their former limits.:}: He 
had issue by his only wife Joan, daughter to King John of 
England, one son called David, who afterwards succeeded 
in the principality of Wales, and a daughter named Gladys, 
who was married to Sir Ralph Mortimer.|| He had also a 
base-born son, named Gruffydh, whom his brother David 
kept a close prisoner to his dying day. 


JL RINCE Lhewelyn ap lorwerth being deceased, his 
only legitimate son David, whom all the barons of Wales 
had, as before stated, in his father's life-time, sworn to 
obey, legally succeeded in the government; wherein being 
actually confirmed, he went to the king of England to 
Gloucester, and there did him homage for his principality ; 
and all the barons, both English and Welsh, who held any 
lands in Wales, in like manner did homage and fealty for 
the same : but the English could not long refrain from their 
wonted hostilities towards the Welsh ; and Gilbert Marshal, 


* A fortress situate on the verge of the sea in Caernarvonshire. Welsh Chron. p. 208. 
Matthew Paris, p. 470. 

f Welsh Chron. p. 298. 

I Mr. Warrington, at the close of this reign, says -" His talents and his virtues, with 
the fortunate direction of both, have given to this prince the illustrious title of Lhcwdyn 
the Great." 

Brit. Ant. Reviv. by Vaughan of Hengwrt, p. 27. 
|| Memoir of Guedir Family, p. 24. 


taking advantage of the death of Lhewelyn before matters 
were thoroughly settled, brought an army against the castle 
of Aberteifi, which being delivered up to him, he fortified 
with a strong garrison. Prince David was as yet too weak 
to appear in the field; and the more so, because several 
of his nobility and others did not bear true regard for him, 
on account of the harsh treatment he had shown to his 
brother Gruffydh, whom, for no just reason, he detained in 
close custody : but above the rest, Richard bishop of Ban- 
gor expressed himself strongly to the prince, and finding 
that he had violated the promise that he had made to set 
his brother at liberty, whom, under pretence of an amicable 
consultation, he had fraudulently seized upon in the bishop's 
presence, he without hesitation excommunicated him; and 
then retiring to England, made an accusatory relation of the 
whole matter to the king, wishing to have Gruffydh released 
from prison before the rumour of an act so heinous should 
reach the court of Rome, and thus reflect upon his Majesty's 
reputation. The King thereupon sent to his nephew Prince 
David, blaming him highly for such a treacherous action, 
and for dealing so severely with his brother, and then 
earnestly requested him to deliver Gruffydh out of custody, 
both to save himself from perpetual condemnation, and that 
he might obtain absolution from the severe sentence that 
had been pronounced against him : but David absolutely 
refused to comply with the king's desire, assuring him that 
Wales would never enjoy peace as long as his brother 
Gruffydh had his liberty. 

Gruffydh being acquainted with his brother's resolution, 
and thinking that thereby he had unquestionably displeased 
the king of England, privately sent to King Henry, assuring 
him, that if by force he would deliver him out of prison, he 
would not only hold his lands for ever from him, but also 
pay him the yearly acknowledgment of three hundred marks; 
offering both to give his corporal oath, and deliver up suf- 
ficient pledges, for the performance of it; and withal 
offering to assist the king with all his power in bringing in 
the rest of the Welsh to his subjection. Gruffydh ap 
Madawc, Lord of Bromfield, also positively assured the 
king, that in case he would lead an army into Wales, to 
revenge the treachery and injurious practices of David, he 
would give him all possible aid and assistance. King 
Henry, besides this solemn invitation, had no slight pre- 
tence for coming to Wales ; for Richard bishop of Bangor, 
an impetuous man, had prosecuted the matter so warmly at 
Rome, that the Pope also excommunicated David, which 
excommunication being denounced against hirn, his lands 



were nominally forfeited. The king being chiefly allured 
by the promises of the Welsh in the behalf of Gruffydh, 
levied a very formidable army to lead to Wales ; strictly 
commanding, by proclamation, all the English who owed 
him any martial service to repair armed to Gloucester by 
the beginning of autumn. This rendezvous being accord- 
ingly performed, the king came thither in person at the 
time appointed, and having regulated his troops, and put 
all matters in convenient order, he marched to Shrewsbury, 
where he remained fifteen days to refresh his army.* 
During his stay there several of the nobility became suitors 
unto him on behalf of Gruffydh, whose condition they 
desired he would commiserate ; among whom were, Ralph 
Lord Mortimer, of Wigmore; Walter Clifford; Roger de 
Monte Alto, Steward of Chester ; Maelgon ap Maelgon ; 
Meredith ap Rotpert, Lord of Cydewen; Gruffydh ap 
Madawc, of Bromfield ; Howel and Meredith, the sons of 
Conan ap Owen Gwynedh; and Gruffydh ap Gwenwynwyn, 
Lord of Powys.f These noblemen prevailed so far with 
King Henry, that a league was concluded between him and 
SenenaJ the wife of Gruffydh, and for the performance of 
the articles thereof, the aforesaid noblemen offered to be 
securities, and bound themselves by their several writings. 
As if all things had now conspired together against Prince 
David, several persons that had been at continual variance 
and enmity among themselves to this time, were now, by 
reason that they equally favoured Gruffydh's cause, made 
friends : thus, Morgan ap Howel, lord of Cery, made his 
reconciliation with Sir Ralph Mortimer, and his submission 
to King Henry, in a very solemn manner. In the same 
form several others of the nobility submitted to the king ; 
as, Owen ap Howel, Maelgon ap Maelgon, Meredith ap 
Meredith, Howel ap Cadwalhon, and Cadwalhon ap Howel. 
David finding himself thus relinquished by the greatest 
part of his nobility, and particularly by Gruffydh ap 
Madawc, lord of Bromfield, whom he chiefly feared, by 
reason of his great wisdom and power, and that he was 
much esteemed by the king of England, could not easily 
determine how to conduct himself in this perplexity of 
affairs : but in the end, considering with himself what a 
powerful army King Henry brought against him, and how 
much he himself was weakened by the defection of his sub- 
jects, he thought it most advisable to bow to the king, and 
therefore with all speed sent him his submission. 


* Matthew Paris, p. 506. f Welsh Chron. p. 301. J Sina. 

The approaches into Wales this summer had been rendered very easy by a long 
drought, which having continued four months, had dried up the marshes. 


Prince David having given a plenary submission to the 
king, desired, that being his nephew, and the lawful heir 
and successor of his father Prince Lhewelyn, he should 
enjoy the principality of Wales, rather than GrufFydh, who 
was illegitimate, and in. no wise related to the king ; as- 
suring him further, that the war would never be at an end, 
if he was set at liberty. King Henry knowing well the 
truth of all this, and withal being assured that GrufFydh 
was not only valiant himself, but had likewise very powerful 
abettors and promoters of his cause, was very much inclined 
to assent to David's request, and to prevent any farther 
troubles, willingly granted it. Therefore David, in a while 
after, sent his brother GrufFydh to the king, together with 
the pledges promised for the performance of the articles 
lately agreed upon ; wiio were all sent to the Tower of A. D. 1241. 
London to be kept in safe custody ;* GrufFydh being 
allowed a noble a-day to provide himself with necessaries. f 
Shortly afterwards, David came himself to London, and 
after he had done his homage, and sworn fealty to the King 
of England, returned to Wales, being honourably and 
peaceably dismissed. As soon as GrufFydh discovered 
King Henry's intention, and that it was the least part of his 
design to set him at liberty, having flatly denied the Bishop 
of Bangor his request therein, he began to devise means 
whereby he might make his escape out of the Tower ; and, 
having one night deceived his keepers, he let himself down 
from the top of the building, by a line which he had com- 
posed out of the sheets and hangings of his room ; but they 
being too weak to bear his weight, (as he was a heavy 
corpulent person,) let him down headlong to the ground, by 
the greatness of which fall he was crushed to pieces, and 
expired immediately.^: King Henry being informed of this 
unhappy accident, severely punished the officers for their 
inexcusable neglect, and ordered that his son, who was 
kept prisoner with him in the Tower, should be more closely 

After this King Henry fortified the castle of Dyserth, in 
Flintshire ; and for their past service, or rather to oblige 
them to the like thereafter, granted to GrufFydh ap Gwen- 
wynwyn all his estate in Powys, and to the sons of Conan 


* They were sent in the custody of Sir John Lexington, with orders that the prince 
and his son Owen should be confined in the Tower. Matthew Paris, p. 306. Welsh 
Chron. p. 307. 

t Matthew Paris, p. 545. Hollinshead, p. 228. 

I Matthew Paris, p. 545. Stowe's Chron. p. 186. His son Owen, and Sina his wife, 
who had shared in his tedious captivity, were the witnesses of this melancholy spectacle. 
Ibid. Matthew Paris says, that he fell with such violence that his head and neck were 
nearly driven into his body. 


ap Owen Gwynedh their lands in Merioneth.* The next 
A. D. 1242. year Maelgon Fychan fortified the castle of Garth gru:yn, 
John de Mynoc the castle of Buelht, and Roger Mortimer 
that of Melyenyth : but all these preparations were of no 
avail ; for early in the following year, King Henry came 
with an army into Wales, and began to molest the Welsh, 
and without any just pretence forcibly to seize upon their 
lands and estates. Indeed, after the death of Gruffydh, he 
was much inclined no longer to keep his promise to David, 
and therefore intended to grant his eldest son Edward the 
principality of Wales, whom he thought to oblige the 
Welsh to obey. Prince David, understanding his design, 
levied all his power for the defence of his just right ; yet 
finding himself unable to withstand the army of the English, 
purposed to effect that by policy which he could not attain 
by force. He sent therefore to the Pope, complaining that 
King Henry of England compelled him unjustly to hold his 
lands of him, and that, without any legal pretence, he seized 
the estates of the Welsh at his pleasure ; telling him further 
that Prince Lhewelyn his father had left him and the 
principality of Wales to the protection of the see of Rome,f 
to which he was willing to pay the yearly sum of five 
hundred marks,J obliging himself and his successors by 
oath for the due performance of this payment. The Pope 
(as may be supposed) gladly accepted the offer, and there- 
upon gave commission to the two Abbots of Aberconwey 
and Cymer, to absolve David from his oath of allegiance to 
the King of England, and having enquired into the whole 
state of the quarrel, to transmit an account of it to him. 
The abbots, according to this their commission, directed a 
very positive mandate to the King of England, who, ad- 
miring the strange presumption and confidence of these 
abbots, or more the insatiable avarice and greediness of the 
Pope, sent also to Rome, and with a greater sum of money, 
easily adjusted all matters, his Holiness being very desirous 
to make the most of both parties. 

Prince David, finding that the Pope minded his own 
gain, more than to justify his complaints against the King of 
England, thought it to no purpose to rely upon his faith, 
but deemed it more advisable to vindicate himself by force 
of arms. Having therefore gathered his forces together, 
(being now reconciled to and followed by all the nobility of 
Wales, excepting Gruflfydh ap Gwenwynwyn and Morgan 
ap Howel, who also shortly after submitted to him,) he 


* Welsh Chron. p. 308. f Matthew Paris, p. 552. 
f Matthew Wcstm. p. 139. Matthew Paris, pp. 550, 573. Brady, p. 592. 


drew up his army to the marches, intending to be revenged 
upon the Earls of Clare and Hereford, John de Monmouth, 
Roger de Monte Alto, and others, who injured and 
oppressed his people ; with whom he fought divers times, 
and with various success : but in the Lent-time next year, A. D. 1245. 
the Marchers and the Welsh met near Montgomery, between 
whom was fought a very severe battle ; the governor of that 
castle being general of the English, and having cunningly 
placed a body of men in ambuscade, pretended, after some 
short engagement, to flee, whom the Welsh daringly pursu- 
ed, not thinking of any treachery : as soon, however, as they 
were past the ambush, up rose an unexpected party, who, 
falling upon the rear of the Welsh, put them in very great 
disorder, and killed about three hundred men,* though not 
without a considerable loss on their own side ; and among 
the slain was a valiant knight called Hubert Fitz-Matthew.f 
King Henry being weary of these perpetual skirmishes and 
daily bickerings between the English and Welsh, thought 
to put an end to the whole at one stroke ; and therefore 
raised a great army of English and Gascoigns, and entered 
North Wales, purposing to waste and destroy the country : 
but before he had advanced very far, Prince David inter- 
cepted him in a narrow pass, and so violently attacked his 
forces, that a great number of his nobility and bravest 
soldiers, and nearly all the Gascoigns, were slain. The 
king, finding he could effect nothing against the Welsh, 
invited over the Irish, who, landing in Anglesey, began to 
pillage and waste the country ; but the inhabitants gather- 
ing themselves together in a body, quickly forced them to 
their ships : after which, King Henry having victualled and 
manned all his castles, returned dissatisfied to England. 

Concerning this expedition to Wales, and the continuance 
of the English army therein, a certain person in the camp 
wrote to this effect to his friends in England :f ( The king 
( with his army is encamped at Gannock, and is busy in 
' fortifying that place, sufficiently strong already, about 
f which we lay in our tents, in watching, fasting, praying, 
' and freezing. We watch for fear of the Welsh, who were 
f used to come suddenly upon us in the night-time : we fast 
' for want of provision, the halfpenny loaf being now risen 
* and advanced to five pence: we pray that we may speedily 
' return safe and scot-free home : and we freeze for want of 
' winter garments, having but a thin linen shirt to keep us 
' from the wind. There is a small arm of the sea under 


* Matthew Paris, p. 575. 

t He was killed by a large stone rolled from the mountains. 
J Matthew Paris, p. 508. 


( the castle where we lie, which the tide reaches, by the 
6 conveniency of which many ships bring us provision and 
( victuals from Ireland and Chester : this arm lies betwixt 
f us and Snowdon, where the Welsh are encamped, and is 
' in breadth, when the tide is in, about a bow-shot. Now 
' it happened, that upon the Monday before Michaelmas- 

< day, an Irish vessel came up to the mouth of the haven 
' with provision to be sold to our camp, which being negli- 
6 gently looked to by the mariners, was upon the low ebb 
' stranded on the other side of the castle, near the Welsh. 
6 The enemy perceiving this, descended from the mountains 

< and laid siege to the ship, which was fast upon the dry 
( sands ; whereupon we detached in boats three hundred 
6 Welsh of the borders of Cheshire and Shropshire, with 
( some archers and armed men, to rescue the ship : but the 
' Welsh, upon the approach of our men, withdrew them- 
f selves to their usual retirements in the rocks and woods, 
6 and were pursued for about two miles by our men afoot, 
e who slew a great number of them : but in their return 
* back, our soldiers being too covetous and greedy of 
( plunder, among other sacrilegious and profane actions, 
( spoiled the abbey of Aberconwey, and burnt all the books 
( and other choice utensils belonging to it. The Welsh 
f being distracted at these irreligious practices, got together 
( in great number, and in a desperate manner setting upon 
( the English, killing a great number of them, and following 
6 the rest to the water-side, forced as many as could not 
( make their escape into the boats, to commit themselves to 
' the mercy of the waves. Those they took prisoners they 
' thought to reserve for exchange ; but hearing how we put 
f some of their captive nobility to death, they altered their 
6 minds, and in a revengeful manner scattered their dila- 
f cerated carcases along the surface of the water. In this 
' conflict we lost a considerable number of our men, and 
( chiefly those under the command of Richard Earl of Corn- 
6 wal; as Sir Alan Buscell, Sir Adam de Maio, Sir Geflfry 
' Estuemy, and one Raimond a Gascoign, with about a 
' hundred common soldiers. In the mean time, Sir Walter 
' Bisset stoutly defended the ship till midnight, when the 
6 tide returned ; whereupon the Welsh, who assailed us on 
( all sides, were forced to withdraw, being much concerned 
e that we had so happily escaped their hands. The cargo 
f of this ship was three hundred hogsheads of wine, with 
( plenty of other provisions for the army, which at that time 
' it stood in very great need of. The next morning, how- 
' ever, when the sea was returned, the Welsh came merrily 

' down 


( down again to the ship, thinking to surprise our men ; but 
6 as luck would have it, they had at full sea the night before 
' relinquished the ship, and returned safe to the camp. 
c The enemy missing our men, set upon the cargo of the 
' ship, and carried away all the wine and other provisions; 
' and then, when the sea began to flow, they put fire to the 
' vessel and returned to the rest of the army. And thus we 
' lay encamped in great misery and distress for want of 
( necessaries, exposed to great and frequent dangers, and in 
' great fear of the private assaults and sudden incursions of 
' our enemies. Oftentimes we set upon and assailed the 

* Welsh, and in one conflict we carried away a hundred 

* head of cattle, which very triumphantly we conveyed to 
( our camp : for the scarcity of provisions was then so great, 
( that there remained but one hogshead of wine in the whole 
( army ; a bushel of corn being sold for twenty shillings, a 
' fed ox for three or four marks, and a hen for eight pence ; 
' so that there happened a very lamentable mortality both of 
' man and horse, for want of necessary sustenance.'* 

The English army having undergone such miseries as are 
here described, and King Henry, as is said, perceiving it 
was in vain for him to continue any longer in Wales, where 
he was sure to gain no great credit, he returned with his 
army into England, being not very desirous to make another 
expedition into Wales. Then all the nobility and barons of 
Wales, and those that had favoured and maintained Gruf- 
fydh's cause, were made friends and reconciled to Prince 
David, to whom they vowed true and perpetual allegiance :f 
but the Prince did not long survive this amity and agree- 
ment made between him and his subjects, for falling sick 
toward the beginning of this year, he died in March, at his A. D, 124(5, 
palace in Aber, and was buried at Conway, leaving no issue 
to succeed.:J: The only thing unpardonable in this prince, 
was his over-jealousy and severity against his brother 
GrufFydh, a person so well beloved of the Welsh, that upon 
his account their affection was much cooled, and in some 
entirely alienated from their prince. Thus much, however, 
may be said for David, that GrufFydh was a valorous and an 
aspiring man, and if set at liberty, would probably have 


* Perhaps a reservation was made for a due supply of provisions for the castle of 
Gannock (a name given by the English to the castle of Diganwy), which, it appears, was 
.completely furnished with every necessary on the king's departure. In one of these 
conflicts, the English having the advantage, they brought in triumph to their camp the 
heads of nearly one hundred Welshmen. Matthew Paris, p. 598. 

f During these transactions, David the Prince, being sick and oppressed with cares, 
frequently retired io his camp at Tintaiol, to refresh himself, and recover from the 
fatigues of war. Matthew Paris, p. 599. 

% Matthew Paris, pp. 608, 610. 


ejected him out of his principality ; which King Henry of 
England too (who thought he might bring over David, a 
milder man, to what terms he pleased,) was sensible of 
when he would by no persuasion dismiss him from custody 
in the Tower of London. This occasioned all the disturb- 
ances that happened in his time, the Welsh themselves, for 
the love they bore to Gruffydh, inviting the King of 
England to come to invade their country, and to correct the 
unnatural enmity their prince expressed to his brother : but 
when all differences were over, the King of England being 
returned with his army in disgrace, and the prince and his 
nobility reconciled, the Welsh might have expected a very 
happy time of it, had not death taken the Prince away, 
before he had well known what a peaceful reign was.* 


JL RINCE David being dead, the principality of North 
Wales legally descended to Sir Ralph Mortimer, in right of 
his wife Gladys, daughter to Lhewelyn ap lorwerth : but 
the Welsh nobility being assembled together for the elect- 
ing and nominating a successor, thought it by no means 
advisable to admit a stranger to the crown, though his title 
was ever so lawful; and especially an Englishman, by 
whose obligations to the crown of England, they must of 
necessity expect to become subjects, or rather slaves to the 
English government. Wherefore they unanimously agreed 
to set up Lhewelyn and Owen Goch, the sons of Gruffydh, 
a base son of Lhewelyn ap lorwerth, and brother to Prince 
David ;f who being sent for, and appearing before the 
assembly, all the nobles and barons then present, did them 
homage, and received them for their sovereigns : but as soon 
as the King of England heard of the death of the Prince of 
Wales, he thought, the country being in an unsettled and 
wavering condition, he might effect great matters there; 
and, therefore, he sent one Nicholas de Miles to South 
Wales, with the title of Justice of that country, with whom 
he joined in commission Meredith ap Rhys Gryc, and 


* We have now seen the Welsh nation subject to the most distant extremes of fortune. 
Their annals, in rapid succession, are marked with striking vicissitudes. Influenced by 
sudden, and often by hidden springs, we have seen them, by uniting their strength, and 
exciting its force, rising up to the height of prosperity ; and then, from causes which 
were equally capricious, falling in a moment into disunion and vassalage. 

f These young princes were the sons of GrufFydh ap Llewelyn, who some years before 
had been killed by attempting to escape out of the Tower of London. Welsh Chron. 
p. 314. 


Meredith ap Owen ap Gruflfydh, to eject and disinherit 
Maelgon Fychan of all his lands and estate in South Wales, 
The like injurious practices were committed against Howel 
ap Meredith, who was forcibly robbed of all his estate in 
Glamorgan by the Earl of Clare. These unreasonable ex-^ 
tortions being insupportable, Maelgon and Howel made 
known their grievances to the Princes of North Wales, de- 
siring their succour and assistance for the recovery of their 
lawful inheritance from the encroachments of the English : 
but the King of England, understanding their design, led 
his army into Wales ; upon whose arrival, the Welsh with- 
drew themselves to Snowdon hills, where they so wearied 
theEnglish army, that the king, finding he could do no good > 
after some stay there, returned to England. Within a while 
after, Ralph Mortimer, the husband of Gladys Dhu, died ; 
leaving his whole estate, and with it a lawful title to the 
principality of North Wales, to his son Sir Roger Mortimer.* 

The next year nothing memorable passed between the A. D. 1247 . 
English and the Welsh, only the dismal effects of the last 
year's expedition were not worn off; the ground being in- 
capable of cultivation, and the cattle being in great measure 
destroyed by the English, occasioned great poverty and 
want in the country :f but the greatest calamity befel the 
bishops ; St. Asaph and Bangor being destroyed and burnt 
by the English, the bishops thereof were reduced to such an 
extremity, as to get their subsistence by other men's charity ; 
the bishop of St. David's at this time died, and the bishop 
of Llandaft" had the misfortune to become blind. In the 
bishoprick of St. David's succeeded Thomas^ surnamed 
Wallensis, by reason that he was born in Wales, who think- , 
ing it incumbent upon him to benefit his own country as far 
as lay in his power, desired to be advanced from the arch- 
deaconry of Lincoln to that see: which the king easily 
granted, and confirmed him in it. The next summer proved 1248. 
somewhat more favourable to the Welsh ; Rhys Fychan, 
son of Rhys Mechyl, won from the English the castle of 
Carrec-Cynnen, which his unkind mother, out of malice, or 
some ill opinion entertained of him, had some time before 
privately delivered up to them j and about the same time 


* Oppressed by the hated laws of England, the Welsh at this period had neither 
opportunity nor spirit to carry on commerce, nor to cultivate their land, and in conse- 
quence were perishing by famine. They were likewise deprived of the usual pasturage 
for their cattle ; and to recite the words of an old writer, expressive of their bondage, 
" the harp of the churchman is changed info sorrow and lamentations : the glory of 
their proud and ancient nobility is faded away" 

f Matthew Paris, p. 739. 


the body of Gruffydh ap Lhewelyn, base son of Lhewelyn 
ap lorwerth, was recovered from the King of England, by 
the earnest solicitations of the abbots of Conway and Ystrat- 
flur ; who, conveying it to Conway, bestowed upon it a very 
pompous and honourable interment.* 

A.D. 1255. After this, the affairs of the Welsh proceeded peaceably 
for a considerable time, and the country had .sufficient 
opportunity to recover its former state of plenty ; but 
eventually, fulfilling the proverb that plenty begets war ; 
they began, for want of a foreign enemy, to quarrel among 
themselves. Owen was too arrogant and ambitious to be 
satisfied with half the principality, and therefore would 
endeavour to obtain the whole ; wherein fortune so far de- 
ceived him, that he lost his own portion of it, as will after- 
wards appear. The better to encompass his design, he, by 
artful insinuations, persuaded David his younger brother to 
espouse his cause ; and they with joint interest levied to the 
extent of their power, with intention to dethrone their elder 
brother Lhewelyn ; but that was not an easy matter ; for 
Lhewelyn was prepared to receive them, and with a power- 
ful army met them in the field, with a determination to 
venture all upon the fortune of a battle. It was strange and 
grievous to behold this unnatural civil war ; and the more 
grievous now, because it so manifestly lessened the power of 
the Welsh to withstand the incursions of the English, who 
were much pleased with so favourable an opportunity to 
attack them ; but they were too far engaged to consider of 
future inconveniencies, and a trial of war they would have, 
though the English were ready to fall upon* both armies. 
The battle commenced with much slaughter on both sides, 
and which was likely to conquer was not immediately dis- 
covered ; but at length Owen began to give way, and in the 
end was overthrown, himself and his brother David being 
taken prisoners.! Lhewelyn, though he had sufficient 
reason, would not put his brothers to death ; but, commit- 
ting them into close prison, seized all their estates into his 
own hands, and so enjoyed the whole principality of Wales. 
The English, seeing the Welsh were thus oppressing and 
destroying one another, thought they had full license to deal 
with them as they pleased ; and thereupon began to exercise 
every description of wrong and injustice against them ; inso- 
1256. much that the next year, all the lords of Wales came in a 
body to Prince Lhewelyn, and declared their grievances, 
how unmercifully Prince Edward (whom his father had sent 


* Rymer, p. 443. Welsh Chron. p. 319. 
t Welsh Chron. p. 319. Annales Burton, p. 386. 


to Wales) and others of the nobility of England dealt with 
them, for without any colour of justice they seized upon 
their estates, without any opportunity for appeal, and if 
they in person offended in the least, they were punished to 
the utmost extremity. In fine, they solemnly declared that 
they preferred to die honourably in the field, rather than be 
so unmercifully enslaved to the will artd pleasure of strangers. 
Prince Lhewelyn was riot uninformed as to all this; and 
now having clearly discovered the intent and inclination of 
his subjects* Was resolved to effect, if possible, the expulsion 
of the English, and to be revenged upon them for their most 
cruel and almost inhuman practices towards the Welsh, 
Having therefore drawn all his power together, being ac- 
companied by Meredith ap RhysGryc, he in the space of one 
week recovered out of the hands of the English all the inland 
country of North Wales, and then all Merionyth, with such 
lands as Prince Edward had usurped in Cardigan, which he 
bestowed upon Meredith the son of Owen ap Gruftydh. 
Having also forced Rhys Fychan out of Buelht, he conferred 
it upon Meredith ap Rhys ; and in like manner distributed 
all the lands which he recovered among his nobles; re- 
serving nothing to his own use, excepting Gwerthryneon 3 
the estate of Sir Roger Mortimer.* The next summer he A. D. 1257. 
entered into Powys^f and made war against Gruffydh ap 
Gwenwynwyn, (who always had taken part with and owned 
subjection to the King of England,) whom he completely 
overcame, bringing under his authority all his country, ex- 
cepting the castle of Pool, some small part of Caereineon^ 
and the country lying upon the banks of the Severn. 

Rhys Fychan was not satisfied with the loss of Buelht, 
and therefore was resolved to try to recover it; to which 
end, he went to the King of England, of whom he obtained 
a very strong army, commanded by one Stephen Bacon, 
which being sent by sea, landed at Caermardhyn in the 
Whitsun-week. From thence the English marched to 
Dynefawr, and laid siege to the castle, which was valiantly 
defended until Lhewelyn's army came to their relief Upon 
the arrival of the Welsh, the English withdrew from before 
the castle, and put themselves in a position of battle, which 
the Welsh perceiving, they made all haste to meet and 
oppose them : whereupon there ensued a terrible engage- 
ment, which lasted a very long time ; this being, for number 
of men, the greatest battle that had been fought between the 
English and the Welsh : but the victory favoured the Welsh, 

R 2 
* Welsh Chron. p. 330. f Matthew Paris, p. 806. 


the Englishmen being at length forced to fly, having lost 
above two thousand men, besides several barons and knights 
who were taken prisoners. After this, the prince's army 
passed to Dyfed, where, having burnt all the country, and 
destroyed the castles of Abercorran, Lhanstephan, Maen- 
clochoc, and Arberth, with all the towns thereunto belong- 
ing, they returned to North Wales with much spoil.* As 
soon as he was arrived in North Wales, great complaints 
were exhibited to Prince Lhewelyn against Geoffrey 
Langley,f lieutenant to Edward Earl of Chester, who, 
without any regard to equity, most wrongfully oppressed 
the inhabitants of Wales under his jurisdiction : whereupon 
the prince, to punish the master for the servant's fault, 
entered with some part of his army into the earl's estate, 
and burnt and destroyed all his country on both sides the 
river Dee to the gates of Chester.! Edward had no power 
at the time to oppose him, but being resolved to be revenged 
upon the Welsh the first opportunity, he desired aid of his 
uncle, then chosen King of the Romans, who sent him a 
strong detachment of troops, with which he purposed to 
give Prince Lhewelyn battle : finding him, however, too 
strong, he thought it more adviseable to desist from hostility, 
the prince's army consisting of ten thousand experienced 
men, who were obliged by oath rather all to die in the field 
than to suffer the English to gain any advantage over the 
Welsh : but Gruffydh ap Madoc Maelor, Lord of Dinas 
Bran, a person of notorious reputation for injustice and 
oppression, basely forsook the Welsh his countrymen, and 
with all his forces went over to the Earl of Chester. 
A.D. 1258. The next year Prince Lhewelyn passed to South Wales, 
and seized into his hands the land of Cemaes, and having 
reconciled the difference between Rhys Gryg and Rhys 
Fychan, he won the castle of Trefdraeth, with the whole 
country of Rhos, excepting Haverford. Then he marched 
in an hostile manner towards Glamorgan, and rased to the 
ground the castle of Lhangymwch ; and thence returning to 
North Wales, he met by the way with Edward Earl of 
Chester, whom he forced to return precipitately. Before, 
however, he concluded this expedition, he would be revenged 
upon that ungrateful fugitive Gruffydh ap Madoc Maelor, 
and thereupon passing through Bromfield, he laid waste the 


* Welsh Chron. pp. 320, 322. 

t Brady, pp. 721, 722. It is probable he succeeded Alan de Zouch, who had brought 
into England much treasure in carts out of Wales. 

J Chron. of Thomas Wyke, p. 50. Matthew Paris, pp. 805, 806, 810. 
Near Llangollen, in Denbighshire. Welsh Chron. p, 255, 


whole country.* Upon this the Kings of England and 
Scotland sent to Lhewelyn, requesting him to cease from 
hostility, and from thus unmercifully wasting, and forcibly 
taking away other men's estates. The prince was not over 
willing to hearken to their request ; on the contrary, finding 
the time of the year very seasonable for action against the 
English, he divided his army into two divisions, each of 
them consisting of 1500 foot and 500 horse, with which he 
purposed to enlarge his conquest. Edward Earl of Chester, 
to prevent the blow which so imminently hung over his 
head, sent over to Ireland for succours j of whose coming 
Prince Lhewelyn being certified, he manned a fleet to 
intercept them, which meeting with the Irish at sea, after a 
smart attack forced them to return back with loss. King 
Henry, being informed of the miscarriage of the Irish, 
resolved to come in person against the Welsh, and having 
drawn together the whole strength of England, from St. 
Michael's Mount in Cornwall to the river Tweed, marched 
with his son Edward in great indignation to North Wales, 
and without any opposition advanced as far as Diganwy :f 
but the prince had obstructed his farther progress and pre- 
vented him making any long stay in Wales, by previously 
causing all kinds of provision and forage to be carried over 
the river, and then securing the strait and narrow passages 
whereby the English might have got farther into the coun- 
try ; in consequence of which the army was in a short time 
so greatly fatigued, that the king for want of necessary 
subsistence was forced to retire in haste to England with 
considerable loss. 

The prince, after that, sending for all the forces in South 
Wales, came to the marches, where Gruffydh Lord of 
Bromfield, finding that the King of England was not able to 
defend his estate, yielded himself up,J and then passing to 


* Matthew Paris, p. 80.6. f Welsh Chron. p. 321. 

J The late events had given a fortunate turn to affairs. The present prosperity of the 
Welsh, the spoils they had taken from the enemy, the general confederacy which had been 
lately renewed, and the return of Gruffydh ap Madoc to his allegiance, had diffused 
through every bosom the hopes of better days. To raise these hopes into pious con- 
fidence, Lhewelyn addressed his followers in this consolatory and animating language : 
" Thus far," said he, " the Lord God of Hosts hath helped 'us j for it must appear to all 
" that the advantages we have obtained are not to be ascribed to our own strength, but 
" to the favour of God, who can as easily save by few as by many. How should we, a 
" poor, weak, and unwarlike people, compared with the English, dare to contend with so 
" mighty a power, if God did not patronise our cause ? His eye has seen our affliction ; 
" not only those injuries we have suffered from Geoffrey de Langley, but those also 
which we have received from other cruel instruments of Henry, and of Edward. From 
" this moment our all is at stake, if we fall into the hands of the enemy we are to expect no 
" mercy. Let us then stand firm to each other. It is our union alone which can render 
" us invincible. You see in what manner the King of England treats his own subjects, how 



Powys, the prince banished Gruflfydh ap Gwenwynwyn, and 
took all the lands of that country into his own hands. Pro- 
ceeding farther, he was encountered with by Gilbert de 
Clare Earl of Gloucester, who with a chosen body of 
English forces gave him battle : but Lhewelyn's army, 
exceeding them both in number and courage, they easily 
vanquished and overcame the English, and the victory being 
quickly obtained, the prince immediately reduced to his 
power all the castles belonging to the Earl of Gloucester. 
King Henry, hearing of the Earl's overthrow, was much 
concerned at the loss of so many brave soldiers, in whose 
valour and experience he had always put great confidence, 
and therefore, to revenge their deaths, he again resolved to 
march against the Welsh. Having called his forces 
together, and received supplies from Gascoign and Ireland, 
he came to Wales, but not daring to venture far into the 
country, for fear of being forced to make another igno- 
minious retreat, he contented himself with destroying the 
corn near the borders, it being harvest time, and so returned 
to England. At this time, however, Lord James Audley, 
whose daughter was married to Gruflfydh Lord of Brom- 
field, did more mischief and injury to the Welsh ; for, 
having brought over a great number of horsemen from 
Germany to serve against the Welsh, they were so terrified 
by the unusual large size of the horses, and the unac- 
customed manner of fighting used by the Germans, that in the 
first encounter the Welsh were easily overcome : but, intend- 
ing to revenge this disgrace, and withal being better 
acquainted with their method of arms, the Welsh in a 
short time after made inroads into the Lord Audley 's lands, 
where the Germans immediately attacked them, and pursued 
them tq certain narrow passages, to which the W T elsh 
designedly made their retreat. The Germans, thinking 
they had entirely driven the Welsh away, returned care- 
lessly back, but being suddenly attacked, when they had no 
thought of an enemy being behind them, they were nearly 
all slain by the Welsh that had thus rallied. This year a 
very great scarcity of oxen and horses happened in 
England, whereof several thousands yearly were supplied 


" he seizes their estates, impoverishes their families, and alienates their minds. Will he 
" then spare us, after all the provocations we have given him, and the farther acts of 
" hostility and revenge which we meditate against him? No ; it is evidently his intention 
" to blot out our name from under the face of heaven. Is it not better then at once to 
" die, and go to God, than to live for a time at the capricious will of another, and at last 
" to suffer some ignominious death assigned us by an insulting enemy ?" Animated by 
this oration, the Welsh infested the English borders with incessant inroads ; in the course 
of their ravages, by fire, by the sword, and by plunder, they rendered the frontier a scene 
of desolation. 


out of Wales ; in consequence of which, the marches were 
completely despoiled of all their breed, and not so much as 
a beast was to be seen in all the borders. 

The next spring all the nobility of Wales assembled A. D. 1259. 
together and took their mutual oaths to defend their coun- 
try even to death, against the oppressive invasions of the 
English, and not to relinquish and forsake one another 
under the penalties of perjury : but Meredith ap Rhys of 
South Wales violated this agreement, and put himself into 
the service of the King of England. King Henry was now 
prepared to attack the Welsh, and for this purpose he 
summoned a parliament, wherein he proposed to raise a 
subsidy towards the conquest of Wales, being not able of 
himself to bear the expenses of this war, in consequence of 
several losses he had already received, the country of 
Pembroke being lately destroyed and taken by the Welsh, 
where they found plenty of salt, of which article they were, 
at that time, in great need.* William de Valentia accused 
the Earls of Leicester and Gloucester as the authors of the 
intended war, and quite broke all their measures, so that the 
king was forced to prorogue the parliament for a time 
without any grant of a subsidy : but in a short time after, it 
sat at Oxford, where King Henry and Edward his son took 
a solemn oath to observe the laws and statutes of the realm, 
and the same being tendered to Guy and William, the king's 
brothers, and to Henry, son to the King of Almain, and to 
Earl Warren, they refused to take it, and departed. In 
this parliament the lords of Wales openly offered to be tried 
by the laws for any offence they had unjustly committed 
against the king, which was chiefly opposed by Edward, 
who caused one Patrick de Canton (to whom the lordship of 
Cydwely was given, in case he could win and keep the 
same) to be sent to Caermardhyn as lieutenant for the king, 
with whom Meredith ap Rhys was joined in commission. 
Being arrived at Caermardhyn, Patrick sent to the prince, 
to desire him to appoint commissioners to treat with hini 
concerning a peace, which he consented to, and, without any 
suspicion of treachery, sent Meredith ap Owen and Rhys 
ap Rhys to Emlyn, to conclude the same if possible: but 
Patrick, meaning no such thing, laid an ambuscade for the 
Welsh, who coming unsuspectingly forward, were by the 
way villainously attacked by the English, and a great many 
were slain ; those' that happily escaped, however, raised an 
alarm in the country, and immediately gave chase to Patrick 


* In consequence of their brine works having been destroyed by King Henry .- 
Matthew Paris, p. 819. 


and his accomplices, who being at length overtaken, were 
almost all put to the sword. Prince Lhewelyn was, not- 
withstanding, wholly bent upon a peace, and not only 
desired it, but was willing to purchase it for a sum of 
money, for which purpose he offered to give the king 4000 
marks, to his son 300, and 200 to the queen, which the 
king utterly refused, replying, That it was not a sufficient 
recompense for all the damages he had suffered by the 
Welsh. Matthew of Westminster reports, that about 
Michaelmas this year, the Bishop of Bangor was com- 
missioned by the prince and nobility of Wales to treat with 
the King of England about a peace, and to offer him 16,000 
pounds for the same, upon these conditions, that, according 
to their ancient custom, the Welsh should have all causes 
tried and determined at Chester, and that they should 
freely enjoy the laws and customs of their own country ; but 
what was the result of this treaty, my author does not 

A. D. 1260. There being no hope of a peace, Prince Lhewelyn early 
next year appeared in the field, and passed to South Wales, 
and first attacked Sir Roger Mortimer, who, contrary to his 
oath, supported the King of England in his quarrel. 
Having forcibly dispossessed him of all Buelht, and with- 
out any opposition taken the castle, where was found a 

1261. plentiful magazine, he marched through all South Wales, 
confirming his conquest, and afterwards returned to his 
palace at Aber, between Bangor and Conway. The year 

1262. following, Owen ap Meredith Lord of Cydewen died : but 

1263. the next summer was somewhat more noted for action, as a 
party of Prince Lhewelyn's men took by surprise the castle 
of Melienyth, belonging to Sir Roger Mortimer, and 
having put the other part of the garrison to the sword, they 
took Howel ap Meyric, the governor, with his wife and 
children, prisoners ; and after that the castle was demolished 
by the prince's order. Sir Roger Mortimer, hearing of 
this, with a great body of lords and knights came to 
Melienyth, where Prince Lhewelyn met him ; but Sir 
Roger, not daring to hazard a battle, planted himself within 
the ruins, and finding his force could be of no avail, desired 
leave of the prince to retire peaceably. The Prince, upon 
the account of relation and near consanguinity betwixt them, 
and withal because he would not be so mean spirited as to 
fall upon an enemy that had no power to resist him, let him 
safely depart with his forces, and then passed on himself to 
Brecknock, at the request of the people of that country, who 
swore fidelity unto him, after which he returned to North 

Wales : 


Wales : and now being confederate with the barons against 
King Henry, he was resolved to do something to the injury 
of the English ; he therefore invaded the earldom of 
Chester, and destroyed the castles of Diganwy and 
Diserth belonging to Edward, who came thither, but was 
unable to prevent the Welsh committing the injury they 
intended. The next year John Strange, junior, constable of A. D. 1264. 
Montgomery, with a great number of marchers, came a little 
before Easter by night, through Ceri to Cydewen, intending 
to surprise the castle, which when the people of the country 
understood, they gathered together, and attacking the forces 
of Strange, slew two hundred of his men, but he himself 
with a few of his troops got safely back. 

Within a short time after, the marchers and the Welsh 
met again near a place called Clun, where a warm engage- 
ment happened between them, in which the Welsh were 
worsted, and had a great number of their men slain. After 
this, nothing remarkable fell out for a considerable time, 
unless it were, that David, being released out of prison by 
Prince Lhewelyn his brother, most ungratefully forsook him, 
and with all his power leagued with his enemies the 
English ; also Gruffydh ap Gwenwynwyn, having taken the 
castle of Mold, rased it to the ground. During this com- 
paratively quiet and inactive interval in Wales, Meredith 
ap Owen, the main support and defender of South Wales, 
died, to the great disadvantage of the affairs of that country: 
and now indeed, the Welsh were likely to be made sensible 1268. 
of the loss of so considerable a person, for King Henry 
resolved once more to lead an army into Wales, and to try 
if he could have better success than he had hitherto 
obtained against the Welsh : but when he was prepared to 
undertake this expedition, Ottobonus, Pope Clement's 
legate in England, interposed and procured a peace, which 
was concluded upon at the castle of Montgomery,* wherein 
it was agreed, that Prince Lhewelyn should give the king 
thirtyf thousand marks, and the king was to grant the 
prince a charter, from thenceforth to receive homage and 
fealty of all the nobility and barons of Wales, excepting 
one, so that they could hold their lands of no other but 
himself, and from thenceforward he was to be lawfully stiled 
Prince of Wales. This charter being ratified and confirmed, 
as well by the authority of the pope, as by the king's seal, 
Prince Lhewelyn desisted from any farther acts of hostility, 
and punctually observed all the articles of agreement 


* Welsh Chron. p. 327- * 

t Matthew Paris, p. 875, says 32,000. Welsh Chron. p. 327. 


between him and King Henry, so that no outrage between 
the English and Welsh occurred during the remainder of 
this king's reign. Within that space, died Grono ap 
Ednyfed Fychan, one of the chief lords of the prince's 
council, and shortly after him Gruffydh Lord of Bromfield, 
who lies buried at Valle Crucis.* 

A. D. 1272. The death of King Henry, however, put an end to the 
observation of the peace betwixt the English and Welsh, for 
that event took place on the sixteenth of November this year, 
and he left this kingdom to his son Edward. Prince Ed- 
ward was then in the Holy Land, actively engaged against 
those enemies of Christianity, the Turks, where he had 
already continued above a year ; but being informed of his 
father's death, and that in his absence he was proclaimed 
King of England, he made all haste to return to undergo the 
solemnity of coronation : but what by the tediousness of the 
journey, and what by being honourably detained at princes' 
courts in his way, it was two years before he could get into 
England, and then upon the fifteenth of August, in the year 
1274, he was crowned at Westminster. Prince Lhewelyn 
was summoned to attend at his coronation, but he flatly 
refused to appear,f unless upon sure terms of safe conduct ; 
for, having offended several of the English nobility, he 
could not in safety pass through their country without the 
danger of exposing his person to the inveterate malice and 
implacable revenge of some of them : and, therefore, unless 
the king's brother, the Earl of Gloucester, and Robert 
Burnell Lord Chief Justice of England,:}: were delivered up 
as pledges for his safe conduct, he would not come to do his 
homage and fealty at the coronation, according to the writ 
directed to him. Indeed, seeing that King Edward had 
broken the peace lately concluded upon before the Pope's 
legate, and received and honourably entertained such noble- 
men of Wales, as for their disloyalty were banished by 
Prince Lhewelyn, and from whom he feared some treachery, 
there was no reason that the prince should pay him any 
subjection, as by this breach of the peace he was exempted 


* Welsh Chron. p. 327. 

f- It appears that Lhewelyn was summoned by King Edward to repair to different 
places-, and it is highly probable, during this time, that the following remarkable 
circumstance took place. Edward being at Aust Ferry on the Severn, and knowing that 
the Prince of Wales was on the opposite side, sent him an invitation to come over the 
river, that they might confer together and settle some matters of dispute. This being 
refused by Lhewelyn, King Edward threw himself into a boat, and crossed over to the 
prince , who, struck with the gallantry of the action, leaped into the water to receive him, 
telling the king at the same time that his humility had conquered his own pride, and that 
his wisdom had triumphed over his own folly. 

J Rymer, p. 41. J. Rossi, Ant. Warw. p. 102. 


from all homage. However, Prince Lhewelyn, to show that 
it was not out of any stubbornness or disrespect, to the King 
of England, that he refused to come, sent up his reasons by 
the Abbots of Ystratflur and Conway to Robert Kilwarby 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and the rest of the bishops then 
sitting in convocation in the New Temple at London, which 
were to this effect : 

" To the Most Reverend Fathers in God, Robert, Arch- 
" bishop of Canterbury and Metropolitan of all Eng- 
" land, the Archbishop of York, arid the rest of the 
" Bishops in Convocation; Lhewelyn, Prince of Wales 
" and Lord of Sncwdon, sendeth greeting: 

" WE would have your Lordships to understand, that 
" whereas formerly most terrible and incessant wars were 
" continually managed betwixt Henry King of England and 
" Ourself; the same were at last composed, and all matters 
" of differences were adjusted by the means of his Excel- 
" lency Cardinal Ottobonus, the Pope's legate, who having 
" drawn the articles and conditions of the peace agreed 
" upon, they were signed and swore to, not only by the 
" king, but also the prince his son, now king of England. 
" Among these articles were comprehended, that We and 
<f Our successors should hold of the king and his successor, 
" the principality of Wales, so that all the Welsh lords, one 
" baron excepted, should hold their baronies and estates in 
te capite of Us, and should pay their homage and fealty for 
( ( the same to Us ; We in like manner doing homage to the 
" king of England and his successors. And besides, that 
" the king and his successors should never offer to receive 
" and entertain any of Our enemies, nor any such of Our 
(f own subjects as were lawfully banished and excluded Our 
' f dominions of Wales, nor by any means defend and uphold 
" such against Us. Contrary to which articles, King 
" Edward has forcibly seized upon the estates of certain 
" barons of Wales, which they and their ancestors have 
f( been immemorably possessed of, and detains a barony 
" which by the form of peace should have been delivered 
" to us ; and moreover, has hitherto entertained David ap 
tf Gruffydh Our brother, and Gruffydh ap Gwenwynwyn, 
' ( with several other of Our enemies who are outlaws and 
" fugitives of Our country, and though We have often 
" exhibited Our grievances and complaints against them, 
" for destroying and pillaging Our country, yet We could 
" never obtain of the king any relief or redress for the 
<e several wrongs and injuries We received at their hands; 

" but 


C( but on the contrary they still persist to commit wastes 
" and other outrages in Our dominions. And for all this, 
" he summons Us to do him homage at a place which is 
" altogether dangerous to Our person, where Our inveterate 
" enemies, and which is worse, Our own unnatural subjects, 
" bear the greatest sway and respect with the king. And 
" though We have alleged several reasons to the king and 
<f his council, why the place by him assigned is not safe 
" and indifferent for Us to come, and desire him to appoint 
" another, whereto we might with more safety resort, or 
" else that he would send commissioners to receive Our 
" oath and homage, till he could more opportunely receive 
(f them in person ; yet he would not assent to Our just and 
" reasonable request, nor be satisfied with the reasons We 
(f exhibited for Our non-appearance. Therefore We desire 
" your lordships earnestly to weigh the dismal effects that 
" will happen to the subjects both of England and Wales 
" upon the breach of the articles of peace, and that you 
" would be pleased to inform the king of the sad conse- 
" quence of another war, which can no way be prevented 
" but by using Us according to the conditions of the former 
<f peace, which, for Our part, We will in no measure trans- 
" gress. But if the king will not hearken to your counsel, 
f( We hope that you will hold Us excused, if the nation be 
" disquieted and troubled thereupon, which as much as in 
" Us lieth We endeavour to prevent." 

King Edward would not admit of any excuse, nor hearken 
to any manner of reason in the case, but was exceedingly 
enraged, and conceived an unappeasable displeasure against 
Prince Lhewelyn, which, however, he thought it convenient 
to conceal and dissemble for a time. Indeed, he was pre- 
judiced against Lhewelyn ever since he had been vanquished 
and put to flight by him in the marches, so that the chief 
cause of King Edward's anger originally proceeded from a 
point of wounded honour, which this refusal of homage 
served to increase. To prosecute his revenge, which upon 
such a ground is commonly in princes very implacable, he in 
a short time came to Chester, meaning to recover by force 
what he could not obtain by fair means. From thence he 
sent to the Prince of Wales, requiring him to come and do 
him homage, which Lhewelyn either absolutely refusing or 
willingly neglecting to do, King Edward made ready his 
A. D. 1277. army to force him thereto : but an accident occurred, which 
took off a great part of Lhewelyn's obstinacy ; for at this 
time the Countess of Leicester, the widow of Simon Mont- 


ford,* who lived at Montargis, a nunnery in France, sent 
over to Wales her daughter, the Lady Eleanor, (whom 
Lhewelyn extremely loved,) with her brother Aemerike, 
the former to be married to the prince according to the 
agreement made in the time of her father, Earl Montford : 
Aemerike, however, fearing to touch upon the coast of 
England, steered his course towards the islands of Scilly, 
where by the way they were all taken by four Bristol ships, 
and brought to King Edward, who received the lady very 
honourably, but committed her brother prisoner to the 
castle of Corff, whence he was afterwards removed to the 
castle of Shirburne. The king having obtained this unex- 
pected advantage over Lhewelyn, began boldly to fall upon 
him, and so dividing his army into two battalions, led one 
himself into North Wales, and advanced as far as Ruddlan, 
where he strongly fortified the castle. The other he com- 
mitted to Paganus de Camutiis, a great soldier, who, entering 
into West Wales, burned and destroyed a great part of the 
country. Then the people of South Wales, fearing that his 
next expedition would be levelled against them, volunta- 
rily submitted themselves to the king, and did him homage, 
and then delivered up the castle of Ystraty wy to Paganus. 

Prince Lhewelyn, hearing of this, and finding that his 
own subjects forsook him, but more especially being de- 
sirous to recover his spouse the Lady Eleanor, thought it 
likewise advisable to submit, and therefore sued to King 
Edward for a peace, who granted it, but upon very severe 
conditions, as regarded Lhewelyn. The agreement con- 
sisted of ten articles, which were, I. That the prince 
should set at liberty all prisoners that upon the king's 
account were detained in custody. II. That for the king's 
favour arid good-will, he should pay 50,000 marks, to be 
received at the king's pleasure. III. That these four can- 
treds or hundreds, viz. Cantref Ros, where the king's castle 
of Diganwy stands, Ryfonioc, where Denbigh, Teg- 
eingl, where Ruddlan, Dyflfryn Clwyd, where Ruthyn, 
stands, should remain in the king's hands. IV. That 
the Lords Marchers should quietly enjoy all the lands they 
had conquered within Wales, excepting in the Isle of 
Anglesey, which was wholly granted to the prince. V. 
That in consideration of this island, the prince should pay 
5000 marks in hand, with the reserve of 1000 marks 
yearly, to begin at Michaelmas; and in case the prince died 


* He married Eleanor, dowager of William Earl of Pembroke, and sisfer to Henry the 
Third. This Simon de Montford built a castle at Broadway, near Churchstoke, called 
Simon's Castle, now demolished. Lleweljti's Manuscript. 


without issue, the whole island should return to the king. 
VI. That the prince should come every year to England to 
pay his homage to the king for all his lands. VII. That 
all the barons of Wales, excepting five in Snowdon, should 
hold their lands and estates of the king, and no other. 
VIII. That the title of Prince should remain only for his 
life, and not descend to his successor's, and after his death, 
the five lords of Snowdon should hold their lands only from 
the king. IX. That for the performance of these articles, 
the prince should deliver up for hostages ten persons of the 
best quality in the country ^ without imprisoning, disinhe- 
riting, and any time of redemption determined, X. And 
farther, that the king should choose twenty persons in 
North Wales, who, besides the prince, should take their 
oaths for the due performance of these articles ; and in case 
the prince should swerve and recede from them, and upon 
admonition thereof not repent, they should forsake him, and 
become his enemies. The prince was obliged to suffer 
his brethren quietly to enjoy their lands in Wales, whereof 
David for his service was dubbed knight by the king, and 
had the Earl of Derby's widow given him in matrimony, and 
with her as a portion the castle of Denbigh in North 
Wales, besides 1000 pounds in lands. His other brother 
Roderic had lately escaped out of prison into England, and 
the younger, called Owen, was upon his composition deli* 
vered out of prison. 

King Edward having imposed these severe conditions 
upon Prince Lhewelyn, and for a better security for the 
performance of them, built a castle at Aberystwith, returned 
very honourably into England ; upon whose arrival, the 
people willingly granted him a subsidy of the twentieth 
part of their estates towards his charges in this war: but it 
seems very probable that Prince Lhewelyn submitted to 
these intolerable conditions, more upon the account of his 
amours, and to regain the Lady Eleanora out of the King of 
England's hand, than that he was apprehensive of any 
considerable danger he might receive by the English troops; 
for it is hardly conceivable, that a prince of such well-known 
conduct and valour, would so easily accept of such severe 
terms, and as it were deliver up his principality, when there 
was no necessity so to do, without resisting an enemy, 
whom he had frequently overcome, and forced to retire 
back with greater inequality than the English had at 
present over him : but the force of love works wonders, and 
in this case proved most irresistible, for to obtain his desire 
Lhewelyn did not scruple to forfeit his just right to his 



inveterate enemies, and for ever to exclude his posterity 
from succeeding in their lawful inheritance. The next year A - D - 1278 - 
therefore, he had his wish accomplished, and was married to 
Eleanora at Worcester, the king and queen, with all the 
nobility and persons of quality in England, honouring the 
wedding with their presence.* 

This specious amity, and the peace lately concluded 
betwixt them, did not. however last long, for the English 
governors in the marches and inland counties of Wales, 
presuming upon the prince's submission to the king, 
grievously oppressed the inhabitants of the country, with 
new and unheard-of exactions, and with intolerable par- 
tiality openly encouraged the English to defraud and 
oppress the Welsh. These insupportable practices moved 
the Welsh to go in a body to David Lord of Denbigh, to 
endeavour to procure a reconciliation between him and his 
brother the prince, that they both, being at unity, might 
easily deliver themselves and their country from the un- 
merciful tyranny of the English. David was not ignorant of 
the miseries of his countrymen, and therefore gladly sub- 
mitted to be reconciled to his brother, with promise never 
to take part again with the King of England, but to become 
his utter enemy. This happy union being thus effected, 
David was chosen general of the army, with which he 
presently marched to Hawarden, and surprising the castle 
slew all that opposed him, and took Roger Clifford 
prisoner, who had been sent by King Edward as Justiciary 
into those parts.f From thence, being joined by the 
prince, he passed to Rhuddlan, and laid siege to the 
castle ; but upon notice given that the king was marching to 
raise the siege, he deemed it convenient to withdraw, and to 
retire. At the same time Rhys ap Maelgon and Gruffydh 
ap Meredith ap Owen, with other lords of South Wales, 
took from the English the castle of Aberystwith, with 
divers others in that country, and plundered all the people 
thereabouts, who owned subjection to the crown of Eng- 
land. In the mean while John Peckham, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, perceiving how matters were likely to proceed 
between the king and the prince, and that the kingdom was 
completely involved in a war, he of his own will came to 
Prinee LhewelynJ to endeavour a re-submission from him 


* On the 13th of October. Holinshead, p 277. 

f This occurrence took place on Palm Sunday. Henry de Knyghton de Event. Ang. 
p. 2464, says, that they slew all the masons, carpenters, and other workmen employed in 
the Justiciary fortresses. 

J Rymer, vol. 2, p. 68. About this time died ihe wife of Lhewelyn (Eleanor de 
Montford) in child-bed. 


and his brother David to King Edward, and so to put a 
stop to any further hostilities. 

In order to this, he sent before-hand, to the prince and 
people of Wales, intimating to them, " That for the love he 
" bore to the Welsh nation, he undertook this arbitration, 
" without the knowledge, and contrary to the king's liking ; 
" and therefore earnestly desired, that they would submit to 
" a peace with the English, which himself would endeavour 
" to bring to pass. And because he could make no long 
" continuance in those parts, he wished them to consider how 
(( that if he should be forced to depart before any thing 
" was brought to a conclusion, they could hardly find ano- 
" ther who would so heartily espouse their cause ; and 
" farther threatened, that in case they contemned and 
ef derided his endeavours, he would not only instigate the 
" English army, now greatly strengthened and increased, to 
fe fall upon them, but also signify their stubbornness to the 
" court and bishop of Rome, who esteemed and honoured 
" England beyond any other kingdom in the world. More- 
" over, he much lamented to hear of the excessive cruelty 
" of the Welsh, even beyond that of the Saracens and other 
" infidels, who never refused to permit slaves and captives 
" to be ransomed; which the Welsh were so far from 
" practising, that even some time they slew those for whose 
<f redemption they received money. And whereas they 
" were wont to esteem and reverence holy and ecclesiastical 
" persons, they are now so far degenerated from devotion 
" and sanctity, that nothing is more acceptable to them than 
<f war and sedition, which they had now great need to for- 
" sake and repent of. Lastly, he proposed that they would 
" signify to him, wherein and what laws and constitutions 
(( of theirs were violated by the English, and by what means 
" a firm and a lasting peace might be established ; which, if 
ff they rejected, they must expect to incur the decree and 
" censure of the church, as well as endure the violent in- 
f ' roads and depredations of a powerful army." 

To these, partly admonitions, and partly threatenings of 
the archbishop, Prince Lhewelyn returned an answer: 
" That he humbly thanked his Grace for the pains and 
(f trouble he undertook in his and his subjects' behalf; and 
" more particularly, because he would venture to come to 
" Wales, contrary to the pleasure and good liking of the 
" king. And as for concluding a peace with him, he would 
" not have his Grace be ignorant, that with all readiness he 
" was willing to submit to it, upon condition that the king 
" would duly and sincerely observe the same. And though 


c< he would be glad of his longer continuance in Wales, yet 
" he hoped that no obstructions would happen of his side, 
" why a peace (which of all things he most desired) might 
" not be forthwith concluded, and rather by his Grace's 
(t procuring than any other's ; so that there would be no 
" farther need of acquainting the Pope with his obstinacy, 
" nor moving the king of England to use any force against 
' ' him. And though the kingdom of England be under the 
" immediate protection of the see of Rome, yet when his 
(( Holiness comes to understand the great and unsufferable 
" wrongs done to him by the English ; how the articles of 
" peace were broken, churches and all other religious houses 
fl in Wales were burned down and destroyed, and religious 
< ' persons unchristianly murdered, he hoped he would rather 
" pity and lament his condition, than with addition of 
" punishment increase and augment his sorrow. Neither 
" shall the kingdom of England be anywise disquieted and 
" molested by his means, in case the peace be religiously 
" observed towards him and his subjects. But who they 
te are that delight themselves with war and bloodshed,, 
" manifestly appears by their actions and behaviour ; the 
" Welsh being glad to live quietly upon their own, if they 
te might be permitted by the English, who coming to the 
" country, utterly destroy whatever comes in their way, 
" without regard either to sex, age, or religious places. 
ft But he was extremely sorry that any one should be slain, 
" having paid his ransom ; the author of which unworthy 
(f action he did not pretend to maintain, .but would inflict 
(( upon him his condign punishment, in case he could be 
" got out of the woods and deserts, where as an outlaw he 
ef lives undiscovered. But as to commencing a war in a 
' ' season inconvenient, he protested he knew nothing of that 
" till now : yet those that did so, do solemnly attest that to 
" be the only measure they had to save themselves, and that 
" they had no other security for their lives and fortunes, 
" than to keep themselves in arms. Concerning his sins 
" and trespasses against God, with the assistance of his 
" Grace, he would endeavour to repent of; neither should 
" the war be willingly continued by him, in case he might 
" save himself harmless ; but before he would be unjustly 
" dispossessed of his legal property, he thought it but 
" reasonable, by all possible measures, to defend himself. 
" And he was very willing, upon due examination of the 
" trespasses committed, to make satisfaction and retribution 
' e of all wrongs committed by him and his subjects ; so that 

" the 


' ' the English would observe the same on their side ; and 
" likewise was ready to conclude a peace, which he thought 
" was impossible to be established, as long as the English 
" had no regard to articles, and still oppressed his people 
" with new and unwarrantable exactions. Therefore seeing 
" his subjects were unchristianly abused by the king's 
" officers, and all his country most tyrannically harassed, 
" he saw no reason why the English, upon any fault of his 
ee side, should threaten to bring a formidable army to his 
' e country, nor the church pretend to censure him : seeing 
fe also, he was very willing, upon the aforesaid conditions, 
" to submit to a peace. And lastly, he desired his Grace, 
" that he would not give the more credit to his enemies, 
" because they were near his person, and could deliver 
" their complaints frequently, and by word of mouth; for 
" they who made no conscience of oppressing, would not in 
" all probability stick to defame, and make false accusa- 
"tions; and, therefore, his Grace would make a better 
te estimation of the whole matter, by examining their ac- 
" tions rather than believing their words." 

Prince Lhewelyn having to this purpose replied in general 
to the archbishop's articles, presented him with a formal 
detail of the several grievances which himself and others of 
his subjects had wrongfully and unjustly received at the 
hands of the English : and the archbishop having read over 
the statement of these grievances, and finding the Welsh to 
be upon good reason guiltless of that severe character, 
which by the malicious insinuations of the English he had 
conceived of them, went to King Edward, requesting him 
to take into consideration the wrongs and injuries done to 
the Welsh ; which if he would not redress, at least he might 
excuse them from any breach of obedience to him, seeing 
they had such just reasons for what they did. The king 
replied, that he willingly forgave them, and would make 
reasonable satisfaction for any wrong done; and that they 
should have free access to declare their grievances before 
him ; and then might safely depart, in case it would appear 
just and lawful they should. The archbishop upon this 
thought he had obtained his purpose ; and therefore, with- 
out any stay, hastened to Snowdon, where the prince and 
his brother David resided, and having stated to them what 
the king had said, earnestly desired that they and the rest 
of the nobility of Wales would submit themselves, and by 
him be introduced to the king's presence. Prince Lhewelyn, 
after some time spent in conference and debate, declared 
that he was ready to submit to the king, with the reserve 



only of two particulars; namely, his conscience, whereby he 
was obliged to regard the safety and liberties of his people; 
and then the decency of his own state and quality. The 
king, however, understanding by the archbishop that the 
prince stood upon terms, positively refused to consent to 
any more treaties of peace, than that he should simply 
submit without any farther conditions. The archbishop 
had experience enough, that the Welsh would never agree 
to such proposals ; arid therefore desired his Majesty to give 
him leave, with the rest of the English nobility present, to 
confer and conclude upon the matter; which being granted, 
they unanimously resolved on the following articles, and 
sent them to the prince by John Wallensis, Bishop of 
St. David's: * 

" I. The king will have no treaty of the four cantreds, 
" and other lands which he has bestowed upon his nobles ; 
" nor of the isle of Anglesey. 

(( II. In case the tenants of the four cantreds submit 
" themselves, the king purposeth to deal kindly and honour- 
" ably with them ; which we are sufficiently satisfied of, and 
" will, what in us lies, endeavour to further. 

" III. We will do the like touching Prince Lhewelyn, 
" concerning whom we can return no other answer, than that 
" he must barely submit himself to the king, without hopes 
' ' of any other conditions." 

These were the publick articles agreed upon by the 
English nobility, and sent to Prince Lhewelyn; besides 
which they sent some private measures of agreement, relat- 
ing both to him and his brother David ; promising, that in 
case he would submit, and put the king in quiet possession 
of Snowdon, his Majesty would bestow an English county 
upon him, with the yearly revenue of a thousand pounds 
sterling. And moreover, his daughter should be provided 
for suitable to her birth and quality, and all his subjects 
according to their estate and condition ; and in case he 
should have male issue by a second wife, the aforesaid 
county and one thousand pounds should remain to his 
posterity for ever. As for David, the prince's brother, if 
he would consent to go to the Holy Land, upon condition 
not to return but upon the king's pleasure, all things should 
be honourably prepared for his journey with respect to his 
quality ; and his child maintained and provided for by the 
king. To these the archbishop added his threats, that in 
case they did not comply, and submit themselves to the 
king's mercy, there were very severe and imminent dangers 

s 2 



hanging over their heads ; a formidable army was ready to 
make an inroad into their country, which would not only 
harass and oppress them, but in all probability totally 
eradicate the whole nation: besides which, they were to 
expect the most severe censure and punishment by the 

All this could not force so unlimited a submission from 
the prince, but that he would stand upon some certain con- 
ditions ; and therefore by letter he acquainted the arch- 
bishop, ' that he was with all willingness desirous to submit 
himself to the king; but withal, that he could not do it but 
in such a manner as was safe and honest for him. And 
because the form of submission contained in the articles sent 
to him, were by himself and his council thought pernicious 
and illegal for him to consent to, as tending rather to the 
destruction than the security of himself and his subjects, he 
could in no wise agree to it; and in case he should be 
willing, the rest of his nobility and people would never 
admit of it, as knowing for certain the mischief and incon- 
veniency that would ensue thereby. Therefore he desired 
his lordship, that for a confirmation of an honest and a 
durable peace, which he had all this while earnestly la- 
boured for, he would manage matters circumspectly, and 
with due regard to the following articles : for it was much 
more honourable for the king, and far more consonant to 
reason, that he should hold his lands in the country where 
he was born and dwelt in, than that, by dispossessing of him, 
his estate should be bestowed upon strangers.' With this 
was sent the general answer of the Welsh to the archbishop's 
articles, viz. 

" I. Though the king would not consent to treat of the 
c ' four cantreds, nor of the isle of Anglesey ; yet unless 
" these be comprehended in the treaty, the prince's council 
" will not conclude a peace ; by reason that these cantreds 
<( have, ever since the time of Camber the son of Brutus, 
" properly and legally belonged to the Princes of Wales ; 
' ' besides the confirmation which the present prince obtained 
" by the consent of the king and his father, at the treaty 
" before Cardinal Ottobonus, the Pope's legate, whose 
fe letters patent do still appear. And more, the justice of 
" the thing itself is plainly evident, that it is more reason- 
" able for our heirs to hold the said cantreds for money, and 
" other services due to the king, than that strangers enjoy 
" the same, who will forcibly abuse and oppress the people. 
" II. All the tenants of the cantreds of Wales do unani- 
" mously declare that they dare not submit themselves to 



" the king's pleasure ; by reason that he never from the 
(( beginning took care to observe either covenant, oath, or 
" any other grant to the prince and his people ; and because 
" his subjects have no regard to religion, but most cruelly 
" and unchristianly tyrannize over churches and religious 
' ' persons ; and then, for that we do not understand our- 
' ' selves any way obliged thereunto, seeing we be the prince's 
" tenants, who is willing to pay the king all usual and 
f( accustomed services. 

tf III. As to what is required, that the prince should 
" simply commit himself to the king's will, we all declare, 
" that, for the aforesaid reasons, none of us dare come, 
" neither will we permit our prince to come to him upon 
" those conditions. 

" IV. That some of the English nobility will endeavour 
" to procure a provision of a thousand pounds a-year in 
" England ; we would let them know, that we can accept 
" of no such pension ; because it is procured for no other 
" end that the prince being disinherited, themselves may 
" obtain his lands in Wales. 

" V. The prince cannot in honesty resign his paternal 
" inheritance, which has for many ages been enjoyed by his 
" predecessors, and accept of other lands among the Eng- 
' ' lish, of whose customs and language he is ignorant ; and 
" upon that score, may at length be fraudulently deprived 
" of all by his malicious and inveterate enemies. 

" VI. Seeing the king intends to deprive him of his 
" antient inheritance in Wales, where the land is more 
(e barren and untilled, it is not very probable that he will 
" bestow upon him a more fruitful and an arable estate in 
" England. 

" VII. As to the clause that the prince should give the 
" king a perpetual possession of Snowdon, we only affirm, 
" that seeing Snowdon essentially belongs to the principality 
" of Wales, which the prince and his predecessors have 
" enjoyed since Brute, the prince's council will not permit 
" him to renounce it, and accept another estate in England, 
" to which he has not equal right. 

' ' VIII. The people of Snowdon declare, that though the 
" prince should give the king possession of it, they would 
" never own and pay submission to strangers ; for in so 
" doing they would bring upon themselves the same misery 
" that the people of the four cantreds have for a long time 
" groaned under: being most rudely handled and unjustly 
" oppressed by the king's officers, as woefully appears by 
" their several grievances. 



" IX. As for David, the prince's brother, we see no 
(f reason why against his will he should be compelled to 
" take a journey to the Holy Land ; which if he happens to 
" undertake hereafter upon the account of religion, it is no 
" cause that his issue should be disinherited, but rather 
" encouraged. 

" Now seeing neither the prince nor any of his subjects 
(< upon any account whatsoever have moved and begun this 
" war, but only defended themselves, their properties, laws, 
" and liberties from the encroachments of other persons ; 
*' and since the English, for either malice or covetousness 
" to obtain our estates, have unjustly occasioned all these 
" troubles and broils in the kingdom, we are assured that 
" our defence is just and lawful, and therein depend upon 
<( the aid and assistance of heaven ; which will be most 
" cruelly revenged upon our sacrilegious and inhuman 
f enemies, who have left no manner of enormities, in re- 
" lation to God and man, uncommitted. Therefore your 
ff Grace would more justly threaten your ecclesiastical 
" censures against the authors and abettors of such un- 
- ( paralleled villainies, than the innocent sufferers. And 
" besides, we much admire that you should advise us to 
f ( part with our own estates, and to live among our enemies ; 
*' as if, when we cannot peaceably enjoy what is our own 
" unquestionable right, we might expect to have quiet 
(( possession of another man's : and though, as you say, it 
^ be hard to live in war and perpetual danger ; yet much 
" harder it is, to be utterly destroyed and reduced to no- 
" thing ; especially when we seek but the defence of our 
" own liberties from the insatiable ambition of our enemies. 
f ' And seeing your Grace has promised to fulminate sentence 
<{ against all them that either for malice or profit would 
" hinder and obstruct the peace ; it is evident who in this 
'* respect are transgressors and delinquents ; the fear and 
" apprehension of imprisonment and ejection out of our 
" estates, the sense of oppression and tyrannical govern- 
<f ment, having compelled us to take up arms for the security 
" of our lives and fortunes. Therefore, as the English are 
" not dispossessed of their estates for their offences against 
" the king, so we are willing to be punished, or make other 
< ' satisfaction for our crimes, without being disinherited ; 
< ' and as to the breach of the peace, it is notorious that they 
" were the authors, who never regarded either promise or 
" covenant, never made amends for trespasses, nor remedy 
" for our complaints." 

When the archbishop saw there was no likelihood of a 



mediation, and that it was impossible to conclude a peace 
as long as the Welsh stood upon conditions, he relinquished 
his pretended affection towards them, and denounced a 
sentence of excommunication against the prince and all his 
adherents. It was a subject of no small wonder, that a 
person of such reputed sanctity, who esteemed the several 
grievances done to the Welsh to be intolerable, should now 
condemn them for refusing an unlimited submission to the 
King of England ; whereas he had already owned it to be 
unreasonable : but this ecclesiastical censure was only a 
prologue to a more melancholy scene; for King Edward, 
immediately upon its being issued, sent an army by sea to 
Anglesey, which, without any great opposition, conquered 
the island, and without any mercy put all that withstood 
him to the sword. From thence designing to pass over to 
the continent, he caused a bridge of boats covered with 
planks to be built over the Menai (being an arm of the sea 
which parteth the isle from the main land) at a place called 
Moel y don,* not far from Bangor, where the water is 
narrowest. The bridge being finished, which was so broad 
as that threescore men might pass it a-breast,f William 
Latimer, with a strong party of the best experienced 
soldiers, and Sir Lucas de Tancy, commander of the 
Gascoigns and Spaniards, whereof a great number served 
the king, passed over, but could discover no sign, nor the 
least intimation of an enemy : but as soon as the tide began 
to appear, and the sea had overflown each side of the 
bridge, the Welsh came down fiercely out of the mountains, 
and attacking the disheartened English, killed or drowned 
their whole number, excepting Latimer, who by the swim- 
ming of his horse got safely to the bridge. In this action, 
several worthy soldiers of the English side were lost ; 
among whom were Sir Lucas de Tancy, Robert Clifford, 
Sir Walter Lyndsey, two brothers of Robert Burnel, Bishop 
of Bath, with many others ; in all to the number of thirteen 
knights, seventeen young gentlemen, and two hundred 
common soldiers.^ A little after, or as some say before, 
another engagement passed between the English and the 
Welsh, wherein the former lost fourteen colours, the Lords 
Audley and Clifford the younger being slain, and the king 
himself forced to retreat for safety to the castle of Hope. 


* From the shore opposite this place, it is supposed, the German forces under 
Agricola passed over into Mona. 

f Welsh Chron. p. 372. Holinshead, p. 281. Annales Waverleiensis, p. 235. 
Polidore Vergil, p. 324. Hen. de Knyghton de Event. Ang. p. 2464. 

J The Lord Latimer, who commanded the English in this detachment, bad the good 
fortune to recover the bridge by the stoutness of his horse. Holinshead, p. 281, says, 
that only 200 foot soldiers perished. Mattk. Westminster, 176. 


"While these things passed in North Wales, the Earl of 
Gloucester and Sir Edmund Mortimer acted vigorously 
with their forces in South Wales ; and lighting the Welsh 
at Lhandeilo Fawr, overthrew them with the loss of no 
considerable person, saving William de Valence the king's 
cousin-german, and four knights besides. Prince Lhewelyn 
was all this while in Cardigan, wasting and destroying all 
the country, and principally the lands of Rhys ap Mere- 
dith, who very unnaturally rield with the King of England 
in all these wars. Being at length tired with exertion, he 
with a few men privately separated himself from his army, 
and came to Buelht, thinking to recreate and refresh him- 
self there undiscovered: but coming to the river Wye, he 
met with Edmund Mortimer and John Giftbrd, with a 
considerable party of the people of that country of which 
Mortimer was the lord. Neither party ventured to assail 
the other ; and Prince Lhewelyn with one servant only 
retired to a private grove in a neighbouring valley, there to 
.consult with certain lords of the country, who had appointed 
to meet him. In the mean time Mortimer descended from 
the hill, with intention to fall upon Lhewelyn's men ; which 
they perceiving, betook themselves to the bridge called 
Pont Orewyn,* and manfully defended the passage he was 
to cross. Mortimer could effect nothing against them, till 
he had gained the bridge, the river being impassable; and 
to force them to quit if, seemed altogether impracticable : 
but ai; last, the river was discovered to be fordable a little 
below, and so Helias Walwynf was detached with a party 
through the river, who unexpectedly attacking the rear of 
the defendants, he easily forced them to leave the bridge, 
and save themselves by flight. Prince Lhewelyn during 
this time in vaip expected the lords of Buelht, and in the 
end continued to wait so long, that Mortimer having passed 
over the bridge, surrounded the wood in which he was with 
armed men. The prince, perceiving himself to be betrayed, 
thought to make his escape to his men ; but the English so 
closely pursued him, that before he could come in, one 
Adam Francton, not knowing who lie was, run him through 
with his sword, being unarmed^ The Welsh still ex- 
pected the arrival of their prince, and though but a few in 
number, so gallantly maintained their ground, that in spite 
of the far greater number of the English, they were not 
Without much exertion put to flight. The battle being over, 


* Holin$head, p. 281. f Ibid. Welsh Chron. 373. 

$ Henry de Knyghton, p. 2464. Humffrey Lhuyd's Brev. p. 60 Welsh Chron. p. 374. 
Holinshead, p. 281. 


Francton returned to plunder his dead;* but perceiving him 
to be the Prince of Wales, he thought that he had obtained 
a sufficient prize, and thereupon immediately cut off his 
head, and sent it to King Edward at Conway, who very 
joyfully caused it to be placed upon the highest pinnacle of' 
the Tower of London. Thus fell this worthy prince, the 
greatest, though the last of the British blood, betrayed most 
basely by the lords of Buelht, and being dead, most un- 
worthily dealt with by the King of England; who, contrary 
to all precedents, treated a lawful prince like a traitor, and 
exposed his crowned head to the derision of the multitude. 


J_ RINCE Lhewelyn and his brother David being so 
basely taken off, and leaving no one to lay any fair claim to 
the principality of Wales; King Edward, by a statute made Anno 12 
at Rhuddlan, incorporated and annexed it to the crown of Edw> lm 
England, constituting several new and wholesome laws, as 
concerning the division of Wales into several counties, the 
form and manner of writs and proceeding in trials, with 
many others not very unlike the laws and constitutions of the 
English nation. f All this, however, did not win the affec- 
tion of the Welsh towards him, for they would not by any 
means own him as their sovereign, unless he would consent 
to live and reign among them. They had not forgot the 
cruel oppressions and intolerable insolencies of the English 
officers; and, therefore, they positively told him, they 
would never yield obedience to any other than a prince of 
their own nation, of their own language, and whose life and 
conversation was spotless and unblameable. King Edward, 
perceiving the Welsh to be resolute and inflexible, and 


* This action happened on the 10th of December, 1282. Tradition says, that Lhewelyn 
caused his horse's shoes to be reversed in order to deceive his pursuers, as the snow was 
on the ground; but the circumstance was made known by the treachery of the smith. 
Thus died Lhewelyn ap Gruffydh, after a reign of 36 years, leaving only one daughter, 
who, with the daughter of his brother David, were confined in a nunnery in England, as 
an order was sent by Edward, seven years after the death of their parents, to Thomas de 
Normanville, to enquire minutely into the state and safe custody of the said princess. 
This daughter of Lhewelyn and of Eleanor de Montford, called Catherine Lackland, was 
sent by Edward, attended by her nurse, to be educated in England. She was afterwards 
married to Malcolm, Earl of Fife. Lhewelyn is also said to have had a son of the name 
of Madoc; but he certainly must have been illegitimate, as that prince had been only 
once married. Mills's Catalogue of Honour, p. 310. It is most probable that David's 
daughter remained in England, and died a nun. 

t Brady, vol. ii. p. 11. Matth, Wcstm. 177. 


absolutely bent against any other prince, than one of their 
own country, happily thought of this politic, though 
dangerous expedient. Queen Eleanor was now great with 
child, and near the time of her delivery ; and though the 
season was very severe, it being the depth of winter, the 
king sent for her from England, and removed her to Caer- 
narvon castle, the place designed for her lying-in. When 
the time of her delivery was come, King Edward summoned 
all the barons and chief persons throughout all Wales to 
attend him at Rhuddlan, there to consult about the public 
good and safety of their country, and being informed that 
his queen was delivered of a son, he told the Welsh nobility, 
that whereas they had oftentimes intreated him to appoint 
them a prince, and he had at this time occasion to depart 
out of the country, he, according to their request, and to 
the conditions they had proposed, would name a prince for 
their obedience. The Welsh readily agreed to the motion, 
only with the same reserve, that he should appoint them a 
prince of their own nation. King Edward assured them, he 
would name such an one as was born in Wales, could speak 
no English, and whose life and conversation no body could 
stain; and the Welsh agreeing to own and obey such a 
prince, he named his own son Edward, just then before 
born in Caernarvon castle. 

King Edward having by these means deluded the Welsh, 
and reduced the whole country of Wales to obedience, 
began to reward his followers with other men's properties, 
and bestowed whole lordships and towns in the midst of the 
country upon English lords, among whom Henry Lacy 
Earl of Lincoln obtained the lordship of Denbigh; and 
Reginald Grey, second son to John Lord Grey of Wilton, 
the lordship of Ruthyn. This Henry Lacy was son to 
Edmund Lacy, the son of John Lacy, Lord of Halton 
Pomfret, and constable of Chester, who married Margaret 
the eldest daughter, and one of the heirs of Robert Quincy 
Earl of Lincoln. This Henry Lacy Lord of Denbigh 
married the daughter and sole heir of William Longspear 
Earl of Salisbury, by whom he had issue two sons, Edmund 
and John, who both died young, one by a fall into a very 
deep well within the castle of Denbigh ; and a daughter 
named Alicia, who was married to Thomas Plantagenet 
Earl of Lancaster, who in right of his wife was Earl of 
Lincoln and Sarum, Lord of Denbigh, Halton Pomfret, and 
constable of Chester. After his death, King Edward II. 
bestowed the said lordship of Denbigh upon Hugh Lord 
Spencer Earl of Winchester, upon whose decease, King 



Edward III. gave it, together with many other lordships in 
the marches, to Roger Mortimer Earl of March, in per- 
formance of a promise he had made, whilst he remained 
with his mother in France, that as soon as he should come 
to the possession of the crown of England, he would bestow 
upon the said Earl of March to the value of 1000 yearly 
in lands. But within a few years after, Mortimer being 
attainted of high treason, King Edward bestowed the said 
lordship of Denbigh upon Montague Earl of Salisbury ; but 
it was quickly restored again to the Mortimers, in which 
house it continued till the whole estate of the Earls of 
March came with a daughter to the house of York, and so 
to the crown, Richard Duke of York, grandfather to 
Edward the Fourth, having married the sole daughter and 
heir of the house of Mortimer. Hence it continued in the 
crown to Queen Elizabeth's time, who, in the sixth year of 
her reign, bestowed the said lordship upon her great 
favourite Robert Earl of Leicester, who was then created 
Baron of Denbigh. After him it returned again to the 
crown, where it continued to the year 1696, when King 
William the Third granted a patent under the Great Seal to 
William Earl of Portland, for the lordships of Denbigh, 
Bromfield, and Yale. Some of the Welsh representatives, 
perceiving how far such a grant encroached upon the 
properties and privileges of the subject, disclosed their 
grievances to the honourable House of Commons, who, 
after some consideration, resolved fnemine contradicente) 
that a petition should be presented to his Majesty by the 
body of the whole House, to request him to recall his grant 
to the said Earl of Portland, which was accordingly done in 
the manner following : 

' ' May it please Your Most Excellent Majesty, 

" We, Your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, 
" the knights, citizens, and burgesses in parliament assem- 
" bled; humbly lay before Your Majesty, That whereas 
" there is a grant passing to William Earl of Portland, and 
" his heirs, of the Manors of Denbigh, Bromfield, and 
" Yale, and divers other lands in the principality of Wales ; 
" together with several estates of inheritance, enjoyed by 
" many of Your Majesty's subjects by virtue of ancient 
" grants from the crown : 

" That the said manors, with the large and extensive 
" royalties, powers, and jurisdictions to the same belonging, 
se are of great concern to Your Majesty and the crown of 
" this realm : and that the same have been usually annexed 
" to the principality of Wales, and settled on the Princes 



" of Wales for their support: and that a great number of 
" Your Majesty's subjects, in those parts, hold their estates 
" by royal tenure, under great and valuable compositions, 
" rents, royal payments, and services to the crown and 
" princes of Wales ; and have by such tenure great depend- 
" ance on Your Majesty and the crown of England; and 
t( have enjoyed great privileges and advantages with their 
" estates under such tenure : 

" We therefore most humbly beseech Your Majesty, to 
" put a stop to the passing this grant to the Earl of Port- 
" land, of the said manors and lands, and that the same 
<{ may not be disposed from the crown but by consent of 
" parliament; for that such grant is in diminution of the 
" honour and interest of the crown, by placing in a subject 
" such large and extensive royalties, powers, and jurisdic- 
" tions, which ought only to be in the crown ; and will 
" sever that dependance which so great a number of Your 
" Majesty's subjects in those parts have on Your Majesty 
<( and the crown by reason of their tenure, and may be to 
" their great oppression in those rights which they have 
<( purchased and hitherto enjoyed with their estates ; and 
f( also an occasion of great vexation to many of Your 
" Majesty's subjects, who have long had the absolute 
" inheritance of several lands (comprehended in the said 
' ' grant to the Earl of Portland) by ancient grants from the 
<( crown." 

His Majesty's Answer. 
(( Gentlemen, 

" I have a kindness for my Lord Portland, which he has 
" deserved of Me, by long and faithful services ; but I 
" should not have given him these lands, if 1 had imagined 
<( the House of Commons could have been concerned ; 
" I will therefore recall the grant, and find some other way 
" of shewing My favour to him." 

The lordship of Ruthyn continued in the possession of 
the Greys till the reign of Henry VII. when George Grey, 
Earl of Kent and Lord of Ruthyn, upon some bargain, 
passed the same over to the king ; after which it was in the 
possession of some of the Earls of Warwick, and subse- 
quently came to the family of Myddelton of Chirk Castle, 
in the county of Denbigh, in which family it still continues ; 
being now enjoyed by Miss Myddelton, one of the sisters 
and co-heirs of the late Richard Myddelton, Esq. 

Besides Henry Lacy and Reginald Grey, several other 
gentlemen of quality came at this time with King Edward to 
North Wales, who subsequently became men of great pos- 


sessions and sway in the country, and whose posterity enjoy 
the same to this time : but he that expected to have the 
largest share in the distribution of these lordships and 
estates in Wales, was one Rhys ap Meredith, a Welshman, 
and one that, contrary to the allegiance sworn to his prince 
and his duty to his native country, had served the king of 
England in all these wars, and done the greatest hurt of any 
man to the interest of Prince Lhewelyn. For these great 
services done to King Edward, Rhys expected no less than 
to be promoted to the highest preferments ; and the king, 
after the Prince of Wales's overthrow, dubbed him knight, 
but subsequently gave him little else, except fair words and 
great promises. 

When Rhys, and all his neighbours and countrymen, had 
thus submitted themselves to the government of the king of 
England, it happened that the Lord Pain Tiptoft, warden 
of the king's castles which joined to Rhys's country, and the 
Lord Alan Plucknet, the king's steward in Wales, cited Sir 
Rhys ap Meredith,* with all the rest of the country, to the 
king's court ; which, however, he refused to attend, alleging 
his ancient privileges and liberties, together with the king's 
promises to him. The aforesaid officers, therefore, pro- A. D. 1290. 
ceeded against him according to law : whereupon Sir Rhys, 
being much annoyed to be thus served by those whose 
interest he had so warmly espoused, thought to be revenged 
of Pain Tiptoft, and the rest of the English. To that end, 
having drawn together some of his tenants and countrymen, 
he fell upon the said Pain Tiptoft; with whom several 
.skirmishes afterwards happened, and several men were slain 
on both sides. King Edward was now gone to Arragon, to 
compose the differences between the kings of Arragon and 
Naples ; but being informed of the disturbances which had 
happened in Wales between his ministers there and Sir 
Rhys ap Meredith, he wrote to the latter, requiring him to 
keep the peace till his return ; at which time he would re- 
dress all grievances, and reduce matters to proper order. 
Sir Rhys, having already waited sufficiently upon the king's 
promises, and being now in a good condition to offend his 
enemies by force of arms, would not give over the enterprize 
he saw so promising, but, marching with his forces to his 
enemies' lands, burnt and destroyed several towns belonging 
to the English. Upon this, the king sent to the Earl of 
Cornwall, whom he had appointed his deputy during his 
absence, to march with an army into Wales, to repress the 


p. 283 

Welsh Chron. p. 379. Henry de KriygMon de Event. Ang. p. 2465. Holinshead, 


insolencies, and to prevent any farther disorderly attempts of 
the Welsh. The Earl accordingly prepared an army, and 
went against Sir Rhys, whose army he quickly dispersed, 
and overthrew his castle of Drefolan, but not without the 
loss of some of his chief men : for as they besieged and 
undermined the said castle, the walls unexpectedly fell 
down, by which unluckly accident several of the English 
were bruised to death, among whom were the Lord Strafford, 
and the Lord William de Monchency. Within a while 
after, Robert Tiptoft, Lord Deputy of Wales, raised a very 
powerful army against Sir Rhys, and after a slaughter of 
4000 of the Welsh, took him prisoner, and the Michaelmas 
following, at the king's going to Scotland, Sir Rhys was 
condemned and executed at York.* 

A.D. 1293. The death of Sir Rhys did not put a final period to all 
the quarrels between the English and Welsh, for in a short 
time after there happened a new occasion of murmuring on 
the part of the Welsh, and fof their upbraiding the govern- 
ment of the English over them. King Edward was now in 
actual war with the kins: of France ; and to carry on this 
warfare, he required a liberal subsidy and supply from his 
subjects. This tax was with much resistance paid in divers 
places of the kingdom, but more especially in Wales, the 
Welsh being previously unused to such large contributions, 
1294 violently resisted and exclaimed against it : but not being 
satisfied with maligning the king's command, they took their 
own captain, Roger de Puleston, who was appointed col- 
lector of the said subsidy, and hanged him up, together with 
divers others who abetted the collecting of the tax. Then 
the men of West Walesf chose Maelgon Fychan for their 
captain, and entering into Caermardhyn and Pembroke 
shires, they cruelly harassed all the lands that belonged to 
the English, and returned laden with considerable booty. 
The men of Glamorganshire and the inhabitants of the 
southern parts, chose one Morgan for their leader, and 
attacked the Earl of Gloucester, whom they forced to make 
his escape out of the country ; and Morgan was put in 
possession of those lands which the ancestors of the Earl 
of Gloucester had forcibly taken away from Morgan's fore- 
fathers. On the one side, the men of North Wales set up 
one MadocJ related to the last Lhewelyn slain at Buelht, 
who having drawn together a great number of men, came to 


* Agreeable to the new mode of punishment, by being drawn at tbe tail of a horse, 
and afterwards hanged and quartered. Folklore Vergil, p. 236. Matth. Westm. p. 
184 says, he was executed at Berwick. 

f- Pembrokeshire. 
J He was an illegitimate SOD. Milk's Catalogue of Honour, p. 310. 


Caernarvon* and attacked the English, who in great 
multitudes had then resorted thither to a fair, slew a great 
many, and afterwards spoiled and ransacked the whole 
town. King Edward, being informed of these different 
, insurrections and rebellions in Wales, and desirous to quell 
the pride and stubbornness of the Welsh, but most, of all to 
revenge the death of his great favourite Roger de Puleston, 
recalled his brother Edmund Earl of Lancaster, and Henry 
Lacy Earl of Lincoln and Lord of Denbigh, who with a 
considerable army were ready to embark for Gascoign, and 
countermanded them into Wales. Being arrived there, they 
passed quietly forward, till they came to Denbigh, and as 
soon as they drew near unto the castle, upon St. Martin's 
day, the Welsh with great fury and courage confronted 
them, and joining battle, forced them back with a very 
considerable loss. Polidore Vergil says, (but upon what 
authority we are not informed,) that the Welsh obtained this 
victory rather upon the account that the English army was 
hired with such money as had been wrongfully taken out of 
the abbies and other religious places, so that it was a 
judgment from above, more than the force of the Welsh, 
that overcame the English army. Be the cause what it 
will, it is certain the English were vanquished, upon which 
account King Edward came in person to Wales, and kept 
his Christmas at Aberconway, where Robert Winchelsey 
Archbishop of Canterbury, being returned from Rome, 
came to him, and having done homage, returned honourably 
again to England. As the king advanced farther into the 
country, having but one part of his army with him, the 
Welsh attacked and took most of his carriages, which 
contained a great quantity of victuals and provision, so that 
the king with all his followers were constrained to endure 
many hardships, insomuch that at last water mixed with 
honey, and very coarse and ordinary bread, with the saltest 
meat, were accounted the greatest delicacies for his Majes- 
ty's own table. Their misery would have been much 
greater, had not the other part of the army come in time, 
because the Welsh forces had surrounded the king and part 
of his army, in the hope of reducing him to the utmost 
distress, because the water was so much risen, that the rest 
of his army could not get to him : but the water within a 
short time abating, the remainder of the army came in, 
whereupon the Welsh retired, and made their escape. 
One thing is very remarkable of King Edward during his 
distress at Snowdon, that when the army was reduced to 


* Matthew Paris, p. 190. Welsh Chron. p. 380. 


very great extremity, a small quantity of wine was found, 
which they purposed to reserve for the king's own use : but 
he, to prevent any discontent, which might thereupon be 
raised among his soldiers, absolutely refused to taste 
thereof, telling them, ' That in time of necessity all things 
should be common, and as he was the cause and author 
of their distress, he would not be preferred before them in 
his diet.' 

Whilst the king remained in Snowdon, the Earl of War- 
wick being informed that a great number of Welsh were 
assembled, and had lodged themselves in a certain valley 
betwixt two w r oods, chose out a troop of horse, together 
with some cross-bowmen and archers, and attacked them in 
the night-time. The Welsh being thus surprised and 
unexpectedly encompassed by their enemies, made the 
utmost haste to oppose them, and pitching their spears in 
the ground, and directing their points towards their 
enemies, endeavoured by such means to keep off the horse. 
But the Earl of Warwick having so disposed his forces, that 
between every two horses there stood a cross-bow, so 
annoyed the Welsh with their discharges, that the spear- 
men fell apace, and then the horse breaking easily in upon 
the rest, bore them down with a degree of slaughter that the 
Welsh had never before experienced. After this, King 
Edward, to prevent any more rebellious attempts of the 
Welsh, cut down all the woods in Wales, wherein, in any 
time of danger, they were wont to hide and save themselves. 
For a farther security, he repaired and fortified all the 
castles and places of strength in Wales, and built the castle 
of Beaumaris, in the isle of Anglesey, and having thus put 
all things in a settled posture, and punished those that had 
been the occasion of the death of Roger de Puleston, he 
returned with his army into England. As soon as the king 
had quitted Wales, Madoc, who, as it is said before, was 
chosen captain by the men of North Wales, gathered some 
forces together and came to Oswestry, which immediately 
surrendered to him : and then meeting with the Lord 
Strange near Knockin, who with a detachment of the 
marchers came to oppose him, he gave him battle, van- 
quished his forces, and ravaged his country. The like 
success he obtained in a second engagement against the 
marchers ; but at last they brought together a very great 
number of men, and met Madoc marching towards Shrews- 
bury, upon the hills of Cefn Digolh, not far from Caurse 
castle,* where, after a bloody fight on both sides, Madoc 

* It is said by others that Madoc was delivered up to Edward by his own army. 


was taken prisoner, and his army vanquished and put to 
flight. He was then sent to London, and there sentenced 
to remain in perpetual imprisonment in the Tower,* though 
others affirm that Madoc was never taken, but that after 
several adventures and severe conflicts, whereby the Welsh 
were reduced to great extremities, he came in and sub- 
mitted himself to the king, who received him upon condition 
he would not desist from the pursuit of Morgan, captain of 
the men of Glamorganshire, till he brought him prisoner 
before him. Madoc having performed this, and the whole 
country being peaceable and undisturbed, several hostages 
from the chief nobility of Wales for their orderly and quiet 
behaviour were delivered to the kin<r, who disposed of them 
by placing them in divers castles in England, where they 
continued in safe custody till the end of the war which was 
soon afterwards commenced with Scotland. 

Tn the 29th year of King Edward's reign, the prince of A. D. 1301. 
Wales came down to Chester, and received homage of all 
the freeholders in Wales as follows : Henry Earl of Lan- 
caster, for Monmouth; Reginald Grey, for Ruthyn; Foulke 
Fitzwarren, for his lands; the Lord William Martyn, for 
his lands in Cemaes; Roger Mortimer, for his lands in 
Wales; Henry Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, for Rhos and Rhy- 
fonioc; Robert Lord Montalt, for his lands; and Gruffydh 
Lord of Poole, for the lordship of Powys. At the same 
time paid their homage Tudor ap Grono, of Anglesey; 
Madoc ap Tudor, Archdeacon of Anglesey; Eineon ap 
Howel, of Caernarvon ; Tudor ap Gruffydh ; Lhewelyn ap 
Ednyfed ; Gruffydh Fychan, son of Gruffydh ap lorwerth ; 
Madoc Fychan d'Englefield ; Lhewelyn, Bishop of St. 
Asaph ; and Richard de Pulesdon ; which last-named 
person, in the twelfth year of King Edward, was constituted 
sheriff of Caernarvon for life, with the stipend of forty 
pounds sterling yearly. At the same place, G nifty dh ap 
Tudor, Ithel Fychan, Ithel ap Blethyn, with many more, 
did their homage. Then the prince came to Ruddlan, 
where the Lord Richard de Sutton, Baron of Malpas, did 
homage and fealty for the said barony of Malpas. Thence 
the prince removed to Con way, where Eineon bishop of 
Bangor, and David abbot of Maynan, did their homage ; as 
did Lewis de Felton, son of Richard Felton, for the lands 
which his father held of the prince in Maelor Saesneg, or 
English Maelor. John Earl Warren swore homage for the 
lordships of Brornfield and Yale, and for his lands in Hope- 

* Welsh Chron. p. 381. 


Dale, at London, in the chapel of the Lord John de 
Kirkby, who was some time bishop of Ely ; as also a while 
after, Edmund Mortimer, for his lands of Ceri and 

Besides all these, there paid homage to the prince of 
Wales, at Chester, Sir Gruffydh Llwyd, son of Rhys ap 
Gruffydh ap Ednyfed Fychan, a stout and valiant gentle- 
man, though not very fortunate, and as Florus says of 
Sertorius, he was magnce quidem, sed calamitosce. virtu tis. 
He was knighted by King Edward the First, upon his 
bringing the first news of the queen's safe delivery of a son 
at Caernarvon castle, the king holding then a parliament at 
Ruddlan. This Sir Gruffydh continued for some time on 
the best terms with the king of England, but observing at 
length the intolerable oppression and tyranny exercised by 
the English officers, especially by Sir Roger Mortimer, 
Lord of Chirk and Justice of North Wales, towards his 
countrymen the Welsh, he became so much concerned and 
discontented at these unwarrantable practices, that he 
broke out into open rebellion against the English ; and the 
better to effect what he purposed, he treated with Sir 
Edward Bruce, brother to Robert, then king of Scotland, 
who had conquered Ireland, to bring or send over some 
forces to assist him in his design against the English. 

Nothing, however, was concluded upon, and the whole 
treaty came to nothing : yet Sir Gruffydh, though without 
any hopes of assistance from the Scots, would not lay aside 
what he had once undertaken; and therefore, having ga- 
thered all the forces he could, he commenced a desperate 
warfare, and almost in an instant over-ran all North Wales 
and the Marches, seizing upon the various castles and 
strongholds through the country: but all this was to no 
purpose ; for as the most violent storm is quickly over, so 
Sir Gruffydh's army became spent, and then being met 
with by a strong detachment of English, his party was 
easily discomfited, and himself taken prisoner. 

A. D. 1322. The same year, being the 15th of the reign of King 
Edward the Second, his eldest son Edward, born at Wind- 
sor, in a parliament holden at York was created Prince of 
Wales, Duke of Aquitaine, and Earl of Chester. This 
prince succeeded his father in the kingdom of England, by 
the name of Edward the Third, one of the greatest and 
most powerful monarchs that ever sat upon the English 

1343. Edward, born at Woodstock, eldest son and heir to King 
Edward the Third, was created Prince of Wales upon the 



12th day of May, in the 17th year of his father's reign, 
being then about fourteen years of age. He was a prince of 
incomparable qualifications, but so much superior in martial 
affairs, that upon account of the several actions he was en- 
gaged in, and the circumstance of his wearing black armour, 
he was always mentioned by the name of Black Prince. He 
took John the French king prisoner at the battle of Poic- 
tiers, and in a most signal manner defeated the French 
army in the battle of Cressy. He did not live to enjoy the 
crown, but died one year before his father in the forty-sixth 
year of his age ; no prince was in his life-time more beloved, 
nor after his death more lamented by the English nation ; 
and had he lived to ascend the throne, no one doubted but 
that he would have exceeded, as to all qualifications, the 
most glorious renown of the greatest of his ancestors. 

In the time of Edward the Third lived Sir Tudor 
Vaughan ap Grono, descended lineally from Ednyfed 
Vaughan, a person as to estate, power, and interest, one of 
the chief in North Wales. Upon some motive, either of 
ambition or fancy, he assumed to himself the honour of 
knighthood, requiring all people to call and style him Sir 
Tudor ap Grono, as if he had prognosticated and foreseen, 
that out of his loins should arise those that should have 
power to confer that honour. King Edward, being in- 
formed of his unparalleled presumption, sent for Sir Tudor, 
and asked him with what confidence he durst invade his 
prerogative, by assuming the degree of knighthood without 
his authority : Sir Tudor replied, that by the laws and 
constitution of King Arthur, he had the liberty of taking 
upon himself that title, in regard he had those three qualifi- 
cations, which whosoever was endued with, could by those 
laws claim the honour of a knight. First, he was a gentle- 
man : secondly, he had a sufficient estate : and thirdly, he 
was valiant and adventurous; adding this withal, "If my 
valour and hardiness be doubted of, lo, here I throw down 
my glove, and for due proof of my courage, I am ready to 
fight with any man, whatever he be." The king, approving 
and liking well the man's boldness and resolution, was 
easily persuaded to confirm the honour of knighthood upon 
him. From this Sir Tudor was lineally descended Henry 
the Seventh, king of England, who was the son of Edmund 
Earl of Richmond, the son of Sir Owen Tudor, son to 
Meredith, the son of this Sir Tudor ap Grono. 

After the death of the Black Prince, his son Richard, 
born at Bourdeaux in France, being but ten years of age, 

T 2 


was created prince of Wales at Havering-at-Boure, on the 
A.D. 1377. twentietli day of November, and in the fiftieth year of the 
reign of his grandfather, Edward the Third, whom he suc- 
ceeded in the crown of England. 

Henry born at Monmouth, son and heir to Henry the 
Fourth, King of England, upon the fifteenth of October, in 
the first year of his father's reign, was created prince of 
Wales at Westminster, who succeeded his father in the 
English crown by the name of Henry the Fifth. 

Whilst Richard the Second reigned, one Owen* ap 
Gruflfydh Fychan, descended of a younger son of Gruffydh 
ap Madoc Lord of Bromfield, excited great national interest. 
This Owen had been educated in one of the Inns of Court, 
where he became barrister at law, and was afterwards in 
very great esteem and credit, served King Richard, and 
continued with him at Flint Castle, till at length the king 
was taken by Henry Duke of Lancaster. Between this 
Owen and Reginald Lord Grey of Ruthyn there happened 
much difference touching a common lying between the 
lordship of Ruthyn, whereof Reginald was owner, and the 
lordship of Glyndyfrdwy in the possession of Owen, whence 
he borrowed the name of Glyndwr.f During the reign of 


* He was the son of Gruffydh Fychan ap Gruffydh o Rnddalt ap Madog Fychan ap 
Madog Glof ap Gruffydh Varwn Gwyn Arglwydd Dinas Bran ap Madog ap Gruffydh 
Maelor ap Madog ap Meredydd ap Bleddjn ap Cynvyn, Prince of Powys. His mother 
was named Helen, and was the eldest daughter of Thomas ap Lhewelyn, a lineal 
descendant of Rhys ap Tewdwr, Prince of South Wales, hy Eleanor G">ch, daughter of 
Philip ap Ivor, Lord of Iscoed, in Cardiganshire, by Catherine, daughter of the last 
Lhewelyn, hy Eleanor, daughter of Simon de Montford. 

f Mr. Pennant describes the estate to which Owen Glyndwr retired, as situate in the 
valley of the Dee, three miles below Corwen, and states, that the spirited chieftain was 
there visited by lolo Goch, and gives the Bard's description (in his invitation poem) of 
Sycbarth, the seat of Glyndwr, as referring to the above estate. *' lolo Goch," he says, 
" the celeb. ated poet of this period resided here for some time. He came, on a pressing 
invitation from Owain, who, knowing the mighty influence of this order of men over the 
ancient Britons, made his house, as lolo says, a sanctuary for bards. He made them the 
instruments of his future preparations, and to prepare the minds of the people against the 
time of his intended insurrection. From lolo I borrow the description of the seat of the 
chieftain when it was in full splendour. He compares it in point of magnificence to 
Westminster Abbey ; and informs us, that it had a gate house, and was surrounded with 
a moat; that within were nine halls, each furnUhed with a wardrobe, I imagine filled 
with the clothes of his retainers, according to the custom of those days. Near the house, 
on a verdant bank, was a wooden house, supported on posts and covered with tiles : it 
contained four apartments, each subdivided into two, designed to lodge the guests. Here 
was a church, in form of a cross, with several chapels. The seat was surrounded with 
every convenience for good living and every support to hospitality ; a park, warren, and 
pigeon house; a mill, orchard, and vineyard; and fish-pond, filled with pike and 
gwyniads the last introduced from the lake at Bala ; a heronry, which was a concomitant 
to the seat of every great man, supplied him and his guests with game for the sport of 
falconry. A place still remains that retains the name of his park: it extends about a mile 
or two beyond the scite of his house, on the left-hand of the valley. The vestiges of the 
house are small ; the moat is very apparent ; the measurement of the area it inclosed is 


Richard the Second, Owen, as being a courtier, and in no 
mean esteem with the king, overpowered Reginald, who was 
neither so well befriended at court, nor so much beloved in 
the country as Owen was ; but after King Richard had been 
deposed, the scene was altered, and Reginald being then 
better befriended than Owen, entered upon the common, 
which occasioned Owen, in the first year of Henry the 
Fourth, to make his complaint in parliament against him, 


46 paces by 26 paces. There is the appearance of a wall on the outside, which was 
continued to the top of a great mount, on which stood the wooden house. On the other 
side, but at a greater distance, 1 had passed by another mount of the same kind, called 
Hendom, which probably might have had formerly a building similar to that described 
by the bard. This, perhaps, was a station of a guard, to prevent surprise or insult from 
the English side. He had much to apprehend from the neighbouring fortress of Dinas 
Bran and its appendages, possessed by the Earl of Arundel, a strenuous supporter of the 
house of Lancaster. The bard speaks feelingly of the wine, the ale, the braget, and the 
white bread, nor does he forget the kitchen, nor tire important officer the cook ; whose 
life (when in the foyal service) was estimated by our laws at a hundred and twenty-six 
cows. Such was the hospitality of this house, that the place of porter was useless, nor 
were locks or bolls known. To sum up all, no one could be hungry or dry at Sycharth, 
the name of the place. The bard pays all due praise to the lady of the house and her 

A gwraig orau o'r gwragedd'! 
Gwynn y myd, o'i gwin a'i medd. 
Merch eglur, Llin marchawglyw, 
Urddol, hael, o reiol ryw. 
A'i blant, a ddeuant bob ddau 
Nythod teg o bennaethau. 

His wife .the best of wives ! 

Happy am I in her wine and methrglin. 

Eminent woman of a knightly family, 

Honorable, beneficent, noble. 

His children come in pairs, 

A beautiful nest of chieftains. 

The Reverend Walter Davies, in an interesting notice of the parish of Llausilin, states, 
4hat Mr. Pennant is incorrect as to the loco-position of the Sycharth of lolo Goch. He 
says that " Sycharth, 1 ' the seat of Owain Glyndwr, described by lolo Goch, is in the 
parish of Llansilin, about 12 miles to the south by east of Glyndy/rdwy. As Owain was 
baron of two lordships, no one will deny his having a seat in each; one on the Dee, in 
Glyndyfrdwy, the other on the Cynllaith, in this parish. The only question to be 
decided is In which of the two mansions the chieftain resided when he was visited by 
the bard who wrote the poem so fully descriptive of tire house and its appendages? The 
scite of his seat in Llansilin has been called Sycharth time out of mind, and is not known 
by any other name: the whole township is called Sycharth in every court leet, and in 
every parochial document. The scite of his -residence in Glyndyfrdwy, or the moat 
surrounding it, is called Pwll Eingl. Since the publication of Mr. Pennant's tour through 
Wales in the year 1773, the idea may have been considerably circulated, that this spot at 
Pwll Eingl must have been the Sycharth described by loloGofh, as it was never suspected 
that the illustrious chieftain had any other baronial mansion than that in the valley 
which gave him his surname of .Glyndyfrdwy, and contractedly Glyndwr. At both 
places the scite is surrounded by a moat : on the Dee the area enclosed by it is 46 paces 
by 26 paces. " It is not on a tumulus .but the ground is a little raised." At Sycharth 
the scite is a circle of 30 paces diameter, on the summit of an artificial tumulus, which is 
surrounded by a moat, six yards wide and about the same in depth from the top of the 
mound. To the west, bordering on the moat, is a propugnaculum (or rampart), about 300 



for thus divesting him of his right. No redress being found, 
the bishop of St. Asaph wished the lords to take care, that 
by thus slighting his complaint, they did not irritate arid 
provoke the Welsh to an insurrection, to which some of the 
lords replied, that they did not fear those rascally bare- 
footed people. Glyndwr therefore perceiving how his peti- 
tion was slighted in parliament, and finding no other method 
to redress himself, having several friends and followers, put 
himself in arms against Reginald, and meeting him in the 
field, overcame and took him prisoner, and spoiled his 
lordship of Rnthyn. Upon this many resorted to him from 
all parts of Wales, some thinking him to be in as great 
favour now as in King Richard's days ; others persuading 
him that now the time was come when the Britons by his 
means might again recover the honour and liberties of their 
ancestors. Reginald being thus kept prisoner, was very 
severely treated by Owen, to terrify him into compliance 
with his rebellious proceedings, and was not permitted to 
have his liberty until ten thousand marks were paid for his 
ransom, whereof six thousand were to be paid upon the 
feast of St. Martin, in the fourth year of Henry the Fourth ; 
and he was also to deliver up his eldest son with some other 
persons of quality as hostages for the remainder. The king, 
at the humble suit of Reginald, seeing no other way for his 
enlargement, acceded thereto, authorising Sir William de 


paces from point to point and about 30 paces over, for the purpose of defending the 
bridge over the moat when necessary ; the whole on the summit of a natural round 
hillock shelving on all sides. On the Dee, adjoining the scite of the palace, are two 
inclosures; one is called Pare Isa, the other Pare. The Pare Isa is small, but the other 
Pare is from 70 to 80 acres. In Cynllaith, the next house to Sycharth, on the south-east, 
is a place called Pare Sycharth, with a far.m attached to it. This is at the southern end 
of an extensive wood, which ( occupies the escarpment of a rocky hill, called Pare 
Sycharth, and may be the parccwning (the rabbit warren) of the bard. At the northern 
end of the same wood are a few houses called Pentre y Cwn, where the master of the 
buck-hounds to his barony resided, also his assistants. At Sycharth there is, on the 
rivulet jCynliaith, close at the foot of the hillock, whereon the palace stood, a mill, formerly 
called Melin Sycharth, but, owing to the grist-mill being lately converted into a fulling- 
miJl, it is now called Pandy-Sycharth. On the Dee there are no traces of fish-ponds; at 
Sycharth, between the palace and the wood, the ichnography of two fish-ponds, one above 
the other, is still visible, though now much filled with an accumulation, in a state of transi- 
tion from aquatic vegetables into an imperfect peat : this matter is several feet deep on 
the original base of the ponds. The water could not be very abundant ; and what 
formerly supplied the ponds has now been diverted uito other channels by the operation 
of draining. I trust that it will now be conceded by our neighbours on the banks of the 
Dec that Owain Glyndwr was, at least, an inhabitant of Cjinllaith ; especially at the time 
he was visited by lolo Goch, who, in after times, by his war songs, roused the hero and 
his countrymen to arms. How long his mansions stood at Glyndyfrdwy and Cynllaith 
after the fall of the owner is not known ; as they were of timber, and not inhabited, they 
must soon have fallen to decay. There are no vestiges at either place. The scite at 
Sycharth has of late been ploughed many times, without having any relics discovered. 
A few nails and fragments of stones, bearing the marks of ignition, are the only remains 
that I saw. It is not probable that the house was burned, as the ploughed soil contains 
no fragments of charcoal. 


Roos, Sir Richard de Grey, Sir William de Willoughby, Sir 
William le Zouche, Sir Hugh Huls, as also John Harvey, 
William Vans, John Lee, John Langford, Thomas Payne, 
and John Elnestow, to treat with Owen and his council, and 
to determine as to what they should conceive most expedient 
and necessary to be done for his redemption : whereupon, 
they consenting to give the sum demanded by Glyndwr for 
his deliverance, the king gave licence to Robert Braybroke 
bishop of London, as also to Sir Gerard Braybroke the 
father, and Sir Gerard the son, then feoffees of divers lord- 
ships for this Reginald, to sell the manor of Herteleigh, in 
the county of Kent, towards the raising of that money : and 
the better to enable him to pay so great a fine, the king was 
pleased to grant, that whereas it was enacted, that such 
persons who were owners of lands in Ireland, and did not 
there reside, should for such their neglect forfeit two parts 
of the profits of them to the king ; that notwithstanding this 
act, he should forfeit nothing for non-residence there during 
the term of six years next ensuing. 

This success over the Lord Grey, together with the 
numerous resort of the Welsh to him, and the favourable 
interpretation of the prophecies of Merlin, which some con- 
strued to the advantage of Owen, made the swelling mind of 
Glyndwr overflow its banks, and gave him some hopes of 
restoring the dominion of this island again to the Britons. 
Wherefore he attacked the Earl of March, who met him 
with a numerous party of Herefordshire men; and when 
they came in contact, the Welshmen proved too powerful, 
and having killed above a thousand men of the English, 
they took the Earl of March prisoner. King Henry, upon 
this, was frequently requested to ransom the Earl, but to no 
purpose ; for whether by reason that Mortimer had a better 
title to the crown than himself, he being the next heir in 
blood after King Richard, who was as yet living, or because 
of some other private reason, the king would never give ear 
to any proposal for his redemption, alleging that he wilfully 
threw himself into the hands of Glyndwr. About the 
middle of August, however, to correct the presumptuous 
attempts of the Welsh, the king went in person with a great 
army into Wales ; but by reason of the extraordinary con- 
tinuance of bad weather, which some attributed to the magic 
of Glyndwr, he was glad to return safe. 

The Earl of March perceiving that he was not likely to 
obtain his liberty by the means of King Henry, either out of 
compliance, by reason of his tedious captivity, or on account 
of affection to the young lady, agreed to take part with 



Owen against the King of England, and to marry his 
daughter; with them joined the Earl of Worcester, and his 
brother the Earl of Northumberland, with his son the valiant 
Lord Percy ; who conspiring to depose the King of Eng- 
land, in the house of the archdeacon of Bangor, by their 
deputies divided the realm amongst them, causing a 
tripartite indenture to be made, and to be sealed with each 
one's seal : by which covenant all that country lying between 
the Severn and the Trent, southward, was assigned to the 
Earl of March ; all Wales, and the lands beyond the Severn, 
westward, were appointed to GJyndwr; and all from the 
Trent northward to the Lord Percy. This was done (as 
some said) through a foolish credit they gave to a vain 
allegorical prophecy, as though King Henry was the exe- 
crable mouldwarp, and they three the dragon, the lion, and 
the wolf which should pull him down, and distribute his 
Jdngdom among themselves. After they had exhibited 
articles of their grievances to King Henry, and divulged 
their reasons for taking up arms, they at length marched 
with all their power towards Shrewsbury to fight the king 
and his forces, depending mainly upon the arrival of Glyn- 
dwr and his Welshmen : but the matter was gone so far, 
that whether he came in or no they must fight, and so both 
armies being confronted, the king's party prevailed, young 
Percy being slain upon the spot, and besides most of the 
English of quality, Douglas, who with a party of Scotch 
had come to the aid of the confederates, was taken prisoner, 
but afterwards honourably set at liberty by the intercession 
of the prince of Wales. In the mean time the Earl of 
Northumberland was marching forward with a great 
party from the North; but the king having settled mat- 
ters about Shrewsbury, proceeded to York, and sending 
to him to lay down his arms, he voluntarily submitted and 
dismissed his forces. Then the king, returning from York- 
shire, determined to pass over to North Wales to chastise 
the presumptuous practices of the disobedient Welsh, who, 
after his departure from Shrewsbury, had made inroads 
into the marches, and done much injury to his English 
subjects; but other business of greater consequence inter- 
vening, he detached his son the prince of Wales, who took 
the castle of Aberystwyth, which was soon again retaken by 
Owen Glyndwr, who placed in it a strong garrison of 
Welshmen. In the battle of Huske, fought upon the 
fifteenth of March, the Welsh received a very serious blow 
from the prince's men, Glyndwr's son being taken prisoner, 
jbesides fifteen hundred others taken and slain. After this, 



hear little of Glyndwr, excepting that he continued to vex 
and harass the English upon the marches, to the tenth year 
of King Henry's reign, when he is stated to have miserably 
ended his life; being, as Hollingshed reporteth, towards 
his latter days, driven to such extremity, that, despairing of 
all comfort, he fled and lurked in caves and other the most 
solitary places, fearing to shew his face to any creature, till 
at length being starved for hunger and lack of sustenance, 
he miserably ended his life.* 

These rebellious practices of Glyndwr, highly exasperated 
King Henry against the Welsh, insomuch that several 
unmerciful laws were enacted, relating to Wales, which in 
effect destroyed all the the liberties of the Welsh subjects. 
They were made incapable of purchasing any lands, or to 
be elected members of any county or borough, and to 
undertake any office, whether civil or military, in any town 
incorporated. If any suit at law happened betwixt an 
Englishman and a Welshman, the former could not be 
convicted, but by the sentence of an English judge, and the 
verdict of an English jury ; besides that any Englishman 
who married a Welshwoman was thereby forthwith dis- 
franchised from all the liberties of an English subject. It 
was further enacted, that no Welshman should be in 
possession of any castle, or other place of strength, and that 
no victuals or armour should be brought into Wales, with- 
out a special warrant from the king or his council ; and 
further, that no Welshman was capable of undertaking the 
office of justice, chamberlain, sheriff, or any other place of 
trust in any part of Wales, notwithstanding any patent or 
license heretofore given to the contrary : these, with many 
other most rigorous and unjust laws, particularly that forbid- 
ding any Welshman to bring up his children to learning, or 
to bind them apprentices to any trade or occupation, were 
enacted by the king against the Welsh; so that nothing 
appeared to satisfy his displeasure, but that a whole nation 
should be wrongfully oppressed, for the fault and mis- 

carriage of one person. It might have been supposed that 
this was not a politic method of securing a nation in its 
allegiance, which, upon slighter affronts, had been ac- 
customed to defend its privileges ; and, therefore, the quiet 
disposition of the Welsh about this time has been attributed 
to the moderation of Henry the Fifth, who within a little 
time succeeded his father in the crown of England. 


* There is, however, good authority for believing that Owain, passing his time in, 
seclusion, ended his days with one of his daughters, who was married and resided in the 
marches of South Wales, on the Herefordshire border. 


Contemporary with Glyndwr was Sir David Gam, (so called 
because he had but one eye,) the son of Lhewelyn ap Howel 
Vaughan, of Brecknock, by Mawd, the daughter of lefan ap 
Rhys ap Ifor of Elvel. He was a staunch partizan of the 
Duke of Lancaster, and for that reason became a mortal 
enemy to Glyndwr, who having been educated, as before 
stated, at one of the inns of Court, was preferred to the 
service of King Richard the Second, who, as Walsingham 
says, made him his Scutifer, or shield-bearer: and being 
informed that his master Richard was deposed and mur- 
dered, and withal being provoked by several wrongs and 
affronts done him by his neighbour the Lord Grey, of 
Ruthyn, whom King Henry greatly countenanced, and 
looking upon Henry as an usurper, he caused himself to be 
proclaimed Prince of Wales. To give a better colour to 
the matter, he feigned himself to be descended, by a 
daughter, from Lhewelyn ap Gruffydh, the last prince; 
whereas, in truth, he came paternally but from a younger 
brother of the house of Powys : and, as ambition has no 
moderation, so Glyndwr for a time acted the part of a 
prince, and summoned a parliament to meet at 
Machynlleth,* whither the nobility and gentry of Wales 
appeared,, and among the rest Sir David Gam, but not 
upon the same design with the rest, for it was his intention 
in this meeting to murder Glyndwr : but the plot being 
discovered, and Sir David secured, he would have been 
immediately executed, had not Glyndwr's best friends, and 
the greatest supporters of his cause, pleaded in his behalf, 
by whose intercession he was prevailed upon to grant Sir 
David both his life and liberty, on condition he would ever 
after continue true and loyal to him. Sir David promised 
very loudly, but with the reservation never to perform ; for 
as soon as he came to his own country, where he was a 
person of very considerable sway and interest, he greatly 
annoyed and molested those that in any way favoured or 
adhered to Glyndwr. While Sir David lay in prison at 
Machynlleth, for his attempt against Owen's life, this 
Englyn was made upon him. 

Dafydd Gam dryglam dreigl, iti yn wan frwydr, 

Fradwr Rissiart Bhrenin, 

Llwyr y rhoes Diawl (hawn hwyl Flin 

Y fath ystad) ei fys ith Din. 

i. e. David Gam thou wilt be a wanderer and an ill end 


* The building, now converted into a stable, in which this memorable synod was 
convened, is still to be seen. 


will come to tliee. Thou wilt be weak in battle, thou 
traitor to King Richard. So eagerly vexatious in thy 
station that the devil wholly entered thy heart. 

Glyndwr having received information that Sir David 
Gam, contrary to the promise he had made at his release, 
endeavoured by all means to destroy his interest among the 
Welsh, entered the marches, and, among other tokens of his 
indignation, burned the house of Sir David, and as the 
report goes, calling to him one of Sir David's tenants, spake 
to him thus merrily in verse : 

O Gvveli di wr coeh Gam 
Yn ymofyn y Girnigwen 
Dywed ei bod hi Tan y Lan 
A nod y glo ar ei Phenn. 

i. e. If thou seest a red-haired, squint-eyed* man looking 
for the lost sheep, tell him she is below the hill, and he may 
know her as she is marked with fire. 

But Sir David had the good fortune to escape his 
vengeance, and was constrained to retire to England, where 
he lived for the most part at court, till the death of Glyn- 

When King Henry the Fifth went with an army to France 
against the French king, Sir David Gam brought into his 
service a numerous party of stout and valourous Welshmen, 
who upon all occasions evinced their courage and resolution. 
In the battle of Agincourt, news being brought to the king 
that the French army was advancing towards him, and that 
they were exceedingly numerous, he detached Captain 
Gam, to observe their motions, and to review their number. 
The Captain, having narrowly eyed the French, found them 
to be twice the number of the English, but not being in the 
least dismayed at such a multitude, he returned to the king, 
who enquiring of him what the number of the French might 
be, he made answer, " An't please you my liege, they are 
enough to be killed, enough to run away, and enough to be 
taken prisoners." King Henry was well pleased, and much 
encouraged with this resolute and undaunted answer of Sir 
David, whose tongue did not express more valour than his 
hands performed: for in the heat of battle, the king's 
person being in danger, Sir David charged the enemy 
with that eagerness and masculine bravery, that they were 
glad to give way, and thus secured the king, though with 
the loss of much blood, and also with the loss of his life, 


* Squint-eyed is Gam in Welsh, from which he took his name, and his family continues 
it to this day, and all squint with one eye. Sir David Gam was the person whom Shak- 
speare described in the character of Captain Fluelin. Note to the original edition. 


himself and his son-in-law Roger Vaughan, with his kins- 
man Walter Llwyd of Brecknock, having received their 
mortal wounds in that encounter. When the king heard of 
their condition, and that they were past all hope of recovery, 
he came to them, and in recompense of their good services, 
knighted them all three in the field, where they soon after 
died ; and thus ended the life, but not the fame, of the 
signally valiant Sir David Gam. 

Edward of Westminster, the sole issue of that unfortunate 
prince King Henry the Sixth, by Margaret,, the daughter 
of Rayner Duke of Anjou, and titular king of Jerusalem, 
Sicily, and Arragon, was created Prince of Wales, in a 
parliament held at Westminster on the fifteenth day of 
March, in the thirty-second year of his father's reign. 
When the battle was lost at Tewkesbury, this young prince 
purposed to have made his escape by flight, but being 
unfortunately taken, and brought to the presence of King 
Edward the Fourth, who then sat upon the throne, he made 
such resolute and unexpected replies that he smote him on 
the mouth with his gauntlet ; and then tvis brother Richard 
(the Crook-back) ran him into the heart with his dagger.* 

Edward, born in the Sanctuary at Westminster, the 
eldest son of King Edward the Fourth, was, after his 
father's expulsion out of England, in the forty-ninth year of 
King Henry the Sixth, created Prince of Wales and jCarl of 
Chester, in the eleventh year of his father's reign. On the 
death of Edward the Fourth, this young prince being then 
at Ludlqw, in the marches of Wales, was immediately ,sent 
for to London, and proclaimed king of England, but never 
lived to be crowned; for his uncle Richard Duke of Glou- 
cester, who was appointed his protector, most villainously 
procured that he should be murdered, together with his 
brother the Duke of York, and afterwards was himself 
proclaimed and crowned king, 

Edward the Fourth, in his wars against Henry the Sixth, 
was very much assisted by the Welsh; in recompense of 
which service he purposed to reform matters in Wales, so 
that the intolerable oppression which they had hitherto 
endured should be removed: to which end he meant to 
establish a court within the said Principality, and consti- 
tuted John bishop of Worcester president of the prince's 
council in the marches ; who, together with Anthony Earl 
of Rivers, sat in the town-hall of Shrewsbury, and consti- 
tuted certain ordinances for the public good and tranquillity 


* This account, the reader will observe, differs from that of the English historians in a 
slight degree, inasmuch as they make the Duke of Clarence and others participators in 
this murderous tragedy. 


of that place: but the matter proceeded no farther, for the 
troubles and disquietness of his kingdom coming heavily 
upon him, and the brevity of his reign after his establish- 
ment not permitting, he was forced to leave that to others 
which he had himself intended to bring about. 

Edward, born at Middleham, near Richmond, in the 
county of York, the only son of King Richard the Third, 
was at ten years of age created by his father Prince of 
Wales, but he died soon after. 

Arthur, the eldest son of King Henry the Seventh, born 
at Winchester, was in the seventh year of his father's reign 
created Prince of Wales. About the fifteenth year of his 
age, being then newly married to Katherine the Infanta of 
Spain, he was sent by his father into Wales, that by his 
presence he might the better keep that country in awe.* 
With him King Henry sent Dr. William Smith, afterwards 
made Bishop of London, as president of his council, to- 
gether with Sir Richard Pool, his chamberlain, Sir Henry 
Vernon, Sir Richard Crofts, Sir David Philip, Sir William 
Udal, Sir Thomas Englefield, Sir Peter Newton, and 
others, to be his counsellors and directors in his manage- 
ment of affairs; but the prince had not continued long 
there before he fell sick at his castle at Ludlow, of which 
indisposition he shortly after died, and w r as buried with 
great solemnity in the cathedral church of Worcester. The 
creating of his brother Henry (Duke of York) Prince of 
Wales in his stead was deferred for about the space of a 
month, to discover whether the Lady Katherine was with 
child by Prince Arthur : but when it was ascertained that 
she had not conceived, on the eighteenth day of February, 
in the nineteenth year of his father King Henry the Seventh's 
reign, Henry Duke of York was created Prince of Wales. 

King Henry the Seventh, being by his grandfather Owen 
Tudor of Welsh descent, and having sufficiently experi- 
enced the affection of the Welsh towards him, first of those 
who, upon his first landing, opportunely joined him under 
Sir Rhys ap Thomas, and then of those, who under the 
command of Sir William Stanley, Lord of Bromfield, Yale, 
and Chirkland, aided him in Bosworth Field, could not in 
honour and equity but bear some regard to the miserable 
state and condition of the Welsh under the English govern- 
ment : and therefore this prudent prince, finding the calami- 
ties of the Welsh to be insupportable, and seeing what 
grievous and unmerciful laws were enacted against them by 
his predecessors, took occasion to redress and reform the 


* Wokins, p. 789. 


same, and granted to the Welsh a charter of liberty and 
immunity, whereby they were released from the cruel op- 
pression which, since their subjection to the English 
government, they had most cruelly sustained. Seeing also 
that the birth and quality of his grandfather (Owen Tudor) 
was called in question, and that he was by many upbraided 
of being of mean and ignoble parentage, King Henry 
directed a commission to the Abbot of Lhan Egwest, Dr. 
Owen Pool, Canon of Hereford, and John Kins:, Herald at 
Arms, to make inquisition concerning the pedigree of the 
said Owen ; who coming to Wales, made a diligent enquiry 
into this matter, and by the assistance of Sir John Leyaf, 
Guttyn Owen (Bardh), Gruffydh ap Lhewelyn ap Efan 
Fychan, and others, in the consultation of the British books 
of pedigrees, they drew up an exact genealogy of Owen 
Tudor, which upon their return they presented to the king. 

Edward, son to Henry the Eighth by the Lady Jane 
Seymour, his third wife, was born at Hampton Court on 
the twelfth of October; and upon the eighteenth of the said 
month was created Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and 
Earl of Chester. 

King Henry the Seventh had already abrogated those 
intolerable laws which the former kings of England, particu- 
larly Henry the Fourth, had made against the Welsh ; and 
now, King Henry the Eighth, willing to make a complete 
reformation of what his father had wisely begun, thought it 
necessary, for the good and tranquillity of both nations, to 
make the Welsh subject to the same laws and the same form 
of government with the English. He understood that the 
usual hostilities and depredations were still continued and 
kept up by both sides upon the borders ; and though his 
father had eased the yoke of the Welsh, yet he perceived 
that it contributed but little towards the abolition of that 
inveterate and implacable envy and animosity which raged 
in the marches: therefore, to remedy this otherwise una- 
voidable evil, he concluded that the only effectual method 
was to incorporate the Welsh with the English, so that 
they, being subject to the same laws, might equally fear the 
A.D. 1536. violation of them. Accordingly, in the twenty-seventh year 
of his reign, an Act of Parliament passed for that purpose, 
which, together with another Act in the thirty-fifth year of 
his reign, made a complete incorporation of the Welsh with 
the English, which union has had that blessed effect that it 
has in course of time dispelled all those unnatural differ- 
ences which were previously so frequent and irreconcilable. 

When the Reformation was first established in Wales it 



was a great inconvenience to the common people, who were 
nearly all unacquainted with the English tongue, that the 
Bible was not transtated into their native language. Queen 
Elizabeth was soon aware of the inconvenience which the 
Welsh suffered for want of such a translation; and therefore, 
in the eighth year of her reign, an Act of Parliament was A.D. 1569. 
passed, whereby the Bishops of Hereford, St. David, St. 
Asaph, Bangor, and Llandaff, were ordered to take care 
that the Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, 
with the Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of 
the Sacraments, should be truly and with precision trans- 
lated into the British or Welsh tongue, and that the same 
so translated, being by them perused and approved, should 
be printed to such a number at least, as that every cathedral, 
collegiate and parish church, and chapel of-ease, within 
those dioceses where that tongue was vulgarly spoken, 
might be supplied before the first of March, in the year 
1576 : and from that time forward that the Welsh Divine 
Service should be used in the British tongue in all places 
throughout those dioceses, where the Welsh was commonly 
spoken, after the same manner as it was used in the English 
tongue ; and that the charge of procuring the said Bible 
and Common Prayer should be equally apportioned betwixt 
the parson and the parish, each of those two parties being 
obliged to pay one-half of the expense ; and that the price 
of the book should be set by the aforesaid bishops, or by 
three of them at the least. This act of parliament was not 
punctually observed ; for the Old Testament was wholly 
omitted, and only the New, with the Book of Common 
Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, then trans- 
lated, which translation was chiefly owing to Richard bishop 
of St. David, who was assisted by William Salusbury, a 
perfect critic in the Welsh tongue, and one excellently con- 
versant in all British antiquities: but in the year 1588, 
Dr. William Morgan, first bishop of Llandaff, and then of 
St. Asaph, undertook the translation of the whole Bible; 
and by the help of the Bishops of St. Asaph and Bangor, 
Gabriel Goodman, Dean of Westminster, David Powel, 
D. D. Edmund Price, Archdeacon of Merioneth, and 
Richard Vaughan, he effectually finished it. This was of 
great advantage to the Welsh, who could now read the whole 
Scripture in their own native tongue ; by which means they 
received a clearer demonstration of the corruptions of the 
Church of Rome, when they saw many of their principles 
apparently contradicting, and others not very firmly founded 
upon, the Holy Scriptures: and on the other hand they 



perceived the necessity and advantage of the Reformation, 
for they easily discovered that the whole doctrine of the 
Church of England was sound and orthodox, and that they 
were now happily delivered from that popish slavery under 
which their forefathers ignorantly laboured ; and therefore, 
being convinced of the truth of their religion, they became, 
and continued generally, very strict adherents to, and firm 
observers of, the doctrine and discipline of this church. 

Here, by the bye, I cannot but observe what a reverend 
writer has lately insinuated, relating to the Christian religion 
planted in Wales : for that learned person, in his funeral 
sermon upon Mr. Gouge, would fain induce the world to 
believe that Christianity was very corrupt and imperfect 
among the Welsh, before it was purified by that (whom he 
terms apostolical) man : whereas it is notoriously evident, 
that since the Reformation was settled in that country, and 
the Bible, with the Book of Common Prayer, was translated 
into the Welsh tongue, no pla^e has been more exact in 
keeping to the strict rubrick and constitution of the Church 
of England, both as to the substance and form of worship. 
But what may more truly be attributed to Mr. Gouge is, 
that since his travels into Wales, and the propagating of his 
doctrine among the ignorant of that country, dissent, which 
before had scarcely taken root, hath as it were daily 

Henry, eldest son of King James the First, being arrived 
at the age of seventeen years, was created prince of Wales 
on the thirtieth of May, in 1610, but he dying of a malig- 
nant fever about two years after, his brother Charles, then 
fifteen years of age, was created Prince in his room in 1615. 
This new creation was celebrated in the town of Ludlow, 
and in the city of London, with great triumph ; and the 
more to honour this solemnity, the king made twenty-five 
Knights of the Bath, all of them peers or the sons of peers; 
and the Inns of Court, to express their joy, elected out of 
their body forty of the principal gentlemen to perform 
solemn justs and barriers, as in the tournaments of former 

Charles, eldest son of King Charles the First, by 
Henrietta Maria, daughter to King Henry the Fourth of 
France, was born May 29, 1630, and afterwards created 
Prince of Wales. 

Subsequent to this period, the title of Prince of Wales 
has been borne by several of the British Princes when next 
in succession to the Throne ; and having been borne by our 
late most gracious Sovereign King George the Fourth, until 



he commenced his reign on the death of his revered father, 
which took place the 29th day of January, 1820, it has 
since that period remained in abeyance. 

Since the happy incorporation of the Welsh with the 
English, the history of both nations as well as the people 
is united; and therefore I shall not repeat that which is so 
copiously and frequently delivered by the English his- 
torians ; but shall conclude with Dr. Heylyn,^-" That since 
the Welsh have been incorporated with the English, they 
have shelved themselves most loyal, hearty, and affection- 
ate subjects of the state; cordially devoted to their king, 
and zealous in defence of their laws, liberties, and reli- 
gion, as well as any of the best of their fellow -subjects." 




I HIS county is the most rugged and truly alpine district in 
Wales : it is surrounded by the sea on all sides except the east,, where 
it joins Denbighshire, and a part of the south contiguous to Meri- 
onethshire. Its figure is very irregular, with a great peninsulated 
point running out to the south-west or Irish sea, and separated from 
Anglesea by the isthmus of Menai. The general surface of the 
country is very mountainous, and the vales for the most part narrow, 
with hills rising very abruptly from the skirts of small vallies into 
stupendous mountains, intersecting each other in all directions, af- 
fording, however, an ample sustenance for numerous herds of cattle 
and sheep, which are fed in great numbers on the mountains, being 
attended by their owners, who for the season reside in temporary huts, 
wherein they make butter and cheese, which, with a little oatmeal 
and the produce of the dairies, constitute their daily food. The 
prospects around are rude and savage in the extreme, yet not entirely 
destitute of some mixture of beauty, particularly the vales, which 
admit the common varieties of wood, water, and meadow. In some 
of the lakes are found the char, and the gwiniad (another alpine fish), 
with many rare vegetables found on the most elevated parts of Snow- 
don. Some parts of the county afford lead and copper, and some 
excellent quarries of stone for hones and slates, while other parts are 
celebrated for the produce of oats, barley, and black cattle, of which 
vast numbers are exported annually ; together with great quantities 
of fish, especially herrings, which are caught on the shores of the 


Is the ancient Segontium of the Romans, mentioned by Antoninus as 
a Roman station in the time of Constantine. Matthew Paris informs 
us that the body of Constantius, the father of that emperor, was found 
buried therein 1283. The town is situate in the parish of Llan- 
beblig, a church dedicated to Saint Peblic, who lived about the 
middle of the fifth century ; and here is a new chapel built, dedicated 
to Saint Mary. The church is a large building in the form of a 
cross, and is situate near the walls of Old Segontium, a short distance 
to the south-east of the town. Richard the Second bestowed this 

v 2 church 


church, and the chapel of Caernarvon, on the nuns of Saint Mary's in 
Chester, in consequence of their poverty.* In the church is an altar- 
tomb to the memory of William Griffith, Esq. son of Sir William 
Griffith, of Penrhyri, and his wife Margaret, daughter of John Wynn 
ab Meredith, Esq. of Gwydir. The figures are in white marble, and 
very well sculptured : he died Nov. 28, 1587, and she in 1593, when 
the tomb was erected by her father. It is probable that the large 
nouse called Plas Mawr, in the town of Caernarvon, was built by him, 
as the initials of his name, W. G. and those of his wife, M. G. are 
over the south-west door. It appears that Caer-Segorit (or Old 
Caernarvon) was anciently the seat of the Princes of Wales, for King 
Cadvan resided here in 650, where also Cadwallo his son, who was 
so great a scourge to the Saxons, and his grandson Cadwaladr, suc- 
cessively resided. Caradog also, and his son Octavius, who was 
made Governor of Britain by Constantine the Great, resided here 
prior to that time ; and Helen, wife of the Emperor Maximus,f and 
daughter of the said Octavius, was born at Caer-Segont. Publicius,. 
the founder of Llanbeblig, is said to have been the son of the said 
Maximus and Helen ; and Cynan Meriadog, cousin to the said 
Helen, succeeded his uncle Octavius as Duke of Cornwall. It is also 
said that Prince Roderic resided here in A. D. 750. It is probable 
that Old Caer yn Arvon, prior to the time of Edward the First, was 
situate near Hen Waliau. 

The town is built in the form of a square, and enclosed on three 
sides by an embattled stone wall : the streets are at right angles with 
the principal one, in which is the town hall. The chief object which 
attracts our attention is the noble castle, the most magnificent in 
Wales, built by Edward the First, and probably the town at the same 
time, with the revenues of the see of York, then vacant. The castle 
defends the town on the south, and has a narrow deep ditch in front 
on the north side : in its west wall are three round towers, and two 
more on each side, with a narrow gate or entrance, over which is 
placed a bareheaded figure with flowing locks, holding in his left hand 
a sword, which he draws with his right, or perhaps is sheathing, in 
allusion to the termination of the Welsh war, and a defaced shield is 
under his feet. This gate leads to a narrow oblong court : at the west 
end is a polygon tower, with three hexagon towers above, on the 
embattlements of which are eagles, whence it had the name of Eagle 
Tower, which is the admiration of all lovers of architecture: the 
eagles on the tower are supposed to be Roman, and to have been 
found at Segontium by Edward. John de Havering was the first 
governor, and Adam d& Wetenhall succeeded. The constable and 
the captain had twenty-four soldiers allowed them for the defence of 
the place : this small garrison was only during peaceable times. In 
Cromwell's time, Captain Swanley, a parliament man, took the town. 

* Pennant, and Sebright MSS. f Called by the Welsh Macsen Wledig. 


In 1644 the royalists retook the place ; finally General Mytton and 
Colonels Mason, Carter, and Twisleton, retook it in 1648, when Sir 
John Owen was defeated near Llandegai, after which North Wales 
entirely submitted to the parliament. In the Eagle tower before 
alluded to is a room eleven feet by seven, in which the unfortunate 
Edward the Second, the first English Prince of Wales, was born on 
the 25th of April, 1284. A passage only separates this room from 
another semi-circular apartment, called the Nursery. On the south 
side, next the river Seiont, are three hexagon and octagon towers, 
with three others on the north ; to the east is a magnificent entrance, 
with a lofty round arch, and towers communicating all round by noble 
galleries, several of which are surrounded by small towers, peculiar 
to this castle. In the north-east corner is a deep well, now nearly 
filled up, having near it a round tower, formerly a dungeon. Such is 
the external delineation of Caernarvon castle, founded on a rock, and 
now almost entire. The outer walls are of white hewn stone, with an 
edging of red about the corners and windows, which have a very 
pretty effect. There were several English gentlemen introduced into 
this town as governors and officers of the castle, by the Kings of 
England, after the conquest, a few of whose posterity still remain. 
Of this number, no doubt, were the Spicers, Pulestons, Bowmans, 
and Bolds ; and the old houses where they lived still go by their 
respective names, such as Plas Pilstwn, the present King's Head inn ; 
Plas Bowman, the corner of Church-street ; and Plas Spicer, in 
Church-street. The town of Caernarvon is increasing in size and 
opulence : two large chapels and several new streets have lately been 
built ; the Sportsman's Arms Inn and the New Hotel afford every 
accommodation of elegance and convenience. The corporation, about 
the year 1808, built an elegant town-hall and market-house in the 
centre of the town. Very commodious hot and cold baths, with 
reading rooms attached, have been recently erected by the Marquis of 
Anglesea, who is mayor of the town, and constable of the castle for 
life. This town is much frequented by strangers in the summer 
season. On the outside of the town walls is a broad and pleasant 
terrace along the side of the Menai, extending from the quay to the 
north end of the town walls ; and in the evening it is a fashionable 
promenade for persons of all descriptions. 

The port of Caernarvon is rather dangerous, from the extensive 
banks adjacent thereto ; but the harbour is very commodious, and 
vessels of six or seven hundred tons ride in security. The quay is 
also peculiarly convenient, as large vessels can ride close to it, and 
deliver or take in their cargoes. The trade is annually considerably 
increasing. Near the quay is the custom-house, well situated for 
vessels trading in slates, of which many thousands are exported to 
different parts of the empire, and procured from the quarries in the 
mountains of Llanberis. 



From the top of a rock behind the hotel is a fine view of the town 
and castle ; and on a clear day the Isle of Anglesea, Holyhead, and 
Paris Mountains may be distinctly seen, like a good map before the 
eyes. On the east end of the town is a large suburb, with a wide 
street leading to the bridge and ditch, sided with two round towers, 
and over the gate an assembly room. On the opposite side of the 
river Seiont, about half a mile from the town, are the ruins of a 
Roman fort, called Hen Waliau, with the walls entire on three sides, 
built of rough stones strongly cemented together, ten feet high by 
four thick, enclosing an area of about eighty yards from east to west ; 
but the west side, which overhangs the steep bank of the river, has 
no trace of a wall. The remains of a Roman road are still visible 
from this place to Dinorwig, and a single stone bears the inscription 
S. V. C. probably Segontium Urbis Constantine. Here Helen, the 
wife of Constantius, had a chapel, and her name is preserved in a 
well half a mile below On the river side. Near this place was found, 
a few years ago, a pot full of coins, buried under a tree ; afterwards 
there were found a large coin of Vespasian in July, 1821, a small 
silver one of Anton ins Pius in 1808, and another silver one of Valerian 
in 1827. Near Moel y Don is a large bed of a beautiful small- 
grained white free-stone, which supplies this part of the country with 
whet-stones : it is of the hardest kind, and, if used with oil, is little 
inferior to the Turkey oil-stone. 

On leaving Caernarvon we proceed in an easterly direction, and, at 
the distance of about ten miles, pass through the village of Llanberis, 
commonly called Nantberis : the church is dedicated to Saint Peris, 
a saint and cardinal, who lived about the middle of the sixth century ; 
he was the son of Helig ab Glanog, and retired here to lead a holy 
life. There is a well near the church, called Ffynnon Peris, in which 
ricketty children and scrofulous and rheumatic persons are bathed ; 
and a poor woman, who lives in a cottage near the spring, has a few 
pence given her by strangers for shewing one or two large trout which 
she feeds in the well. The vale of Llanberis is straight, and nearly 
of an equal breadth throughout, with two lakes or pools ; the 
upper one is about a mile in length and half a mile broad, wherein 
the char fish used to be caught, but the copper works, which are 
carried on here to a great extent, have long since destroyed them. 
The vale was formerly covered with wood, but at present few trees 
remain, though within the memory of old people there w r ere extensive 
woods of oak ; and Leland, in his Itinerary, makes particular mention 
of it. In the time of Howel Dda, Prince of Wales, in the year 940, 
the whole county was nearly covered with wood; for we find it 
ordered, in the Welsh laws framed by him, that whoever cleared away 
the timber from any land should possess the ground so cleared for five 
years, independent of the owner. The mountains also abounded in 
rlrer, which continued in great numbers till the end of Henry the 



Eighth's reign. On a rocky eminence stands an old building, called 
Dolbadarn Castle, consisting of a round tower of 26 feet in diameter 
within, and also shewing a few fragments of the walls, and offices on 
the summit of a steep hill. The construction of this castle evidently 
proves it to be of British origin, perhaps as early as the sixth 
century, being mentioned then as being in the possession of Mael- 
gwyn Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, during his contention with 
the Saxons. In this fortress Owain Goch was confined twenty-six 
years, for rebellion against -his brother, Llewelyn ab lorwerth. The 
Earl of Pembroke took this castle from the Welsh in 1238, after a 
short resistance. A little south of this place is a tremendous cataract, 
called Ceunant Mawr, in height about sixty feet, from which precipi- 
tates a mountain stream amid numerous rocks, until it falls into a deep 
black pool below. North-east of the village is a high perpendicular 
mountain, called Glyder Vawr : the ascent is very steep and tiresome, 
because of numerous paths, continually obstructed .by rocks and wet, 
which render the whole slippery and dangerous. This mountain is 
acknowledged to be the most lofty in Caernarvonshire, Snowdon 
excepted. In a flat, about half a mile up its ascent, is a small pool, 
called Llyn y Cwn, or Pool of I?ogs, rendered remarkable by 
Giraldus for a singular kind of trout, perch, and eels, which were all 
monocular, i. e. wanting the left eye : but at present the pool seems 
destitute of fish of any description. Near the above is Glyder 
Vach, /having the summit covered with groups of columnar stones of 
vast size, with others lying horizontally upon them. Several pieces 
of lava have also been found here, which Mr. Pennant conjectures 
.might have originated in some mighty convulsion of nature, which 
probably left this mountain so rough and strangely disposed. A 
Jlittle tojthe south ;of JLlanberis js 


Jjhe etymology of the name of which mountain .has given rise to several 
: cur,ious conjectures ; but Snowdon is evidently derived from the 
Saxpns, .implying a snowy hill, or hill covered with snow, which is not 
uncqmtnon ,herie eve^i in the month of June. Humphrey Lhwyd 
maintains its signification to be eagles' rocks. ;The ingenious Mr. 
Pennant derives it from a compound of Welsh words, as Creigiau'r 
Eira, or snowy cliffs; and perhaps both have an equal claim to 
originality. From the greatness of the object before us, it is almost 
impossible to give an adequate description ; but according to the best 
authorities, Snowdon is, from the quay at Caernarvon to the highest 
peak, one thousand three hundred yards in perpendicular height 
above the level of the sea, and chiefly composed of a very hard stone, 
with large coarse crystal, a general attendant on alpine countries. 
The Welsh have also a tradition, that these uncouth and savage 
mountains formerly abounded with woods, and that they were felled 



by Edward the First, on account of affording a secure retreat to the 
natives, and convenience for their detached and ambuscading parties. 
This idea is confuted by Giraldus Cambrensis, in his description of 
this mountain, written nearly one hundred years before the time of 
Edward the First, which, besides, perfectly corresponds with its 
present appearance. Sir John Wynne, in his History of the Gwydir 
Family, says, " Snowdon was in ancient times a royal forest ;" and 
still further asserts, that not only Nant-conway was wooded, but all 
Caernarvon, Merioneth, and Denbigh shires, were originally but one 
forest. This is evidently too general an assertion ; for according to 
this author, Owen Glyndwr destroyed the whole in 1400. The 
distance of the summit of Snowdon from Caernarvon is rather more 
than ten miles, but from Dolbadarn Castle, in the vale of Llanberis, 
where the ascent is gradual, a person mounted on a Welsh pony 
may, without much difficulty, ride up nearly to the top. To accom- 
plish this, the traveller should go from Caernarvon to Dolbadarn 
Castle, and after keeping on the side of the lake turn to the left for 
Ceunant Mawr, a noble cataract ; from thence ascend a mountain to 
a vale called Cwm Brwynog, a very deep and fertile spot; from 
thence pass through Bwlch y Cwm Brwynog : here the ascent 
becomes very difficult, so that timid travellers are frequently obliged 
to clamber on foot, till, by keeping to the right, they arrive at Llyn 
Glas, Llyn Nadroed, and Llyn Coch, where the spaces between the 
precipices form an agreeable isthmus, leading to a very verdant plain, 
where the traveller rests for a short time. After this a smooth path 
leads almost to the summit, called Y Wyddfa, or the Conspicuous, 
which rises to a point, leaving a small space for a circular wall of loose 
stones. The mountain from hence seems propped up by four buttresses, 
between which are four deep Cwms or vallies, with three lakes, and 
almost a boundless view, taking in a great part of the counties of 
Chester and York, with other parts of the north of England, Scotland, 
and Ireland, the Isle of Man, and Anglesea. From the same situa- 
tion is a view of between twenty and thirty lakes, chiefly in this county 
and Merionethshire : of mountains, let it suffice to say the most noted 
are Moel y Wyddfa, Y Glyder, Carnedd David, and Carnedd 
Llewelyn, which are properly British Alps, having lakes and rivers, 
high and craggy precipices, covered with snow a considerable part of 
the year, and produce similar plants. The hills appear, as it were, 
heaped one on the top of the other ; for after climbing up one you 
come to a valley, and most commonly to a lake, and passing by that, 
ascend another, and sometimes a third or fourth, before you gain the 
summit. The greater part of the rocks which compose these moun- 
lains are schistose, hornblende, mica, granite, and porphyry, enclos- 
ing considerable blocks of quartz. The plants and animals are nearly 
the same as those found about Cader Idris. 

To conclude, it may be said, with Mr. Bingley, that were the 



traveller's expectation to soar above all former ideas of magnificence, 
this mountain will infinitely surpass all conception, as it baffles all 
description, for no colour of language can paint the grandeur of the 
rising sun observed from this eminence, which is thus beautifully 
described by Mr. Pennant :-" I took much pains to see this prospect 
to advantage : I therefore sat up up at a farm house on the west till 
about twelve, and walked up the whole way. The night was remark- 
ably fine and starry ; towards morn the stars faded away, and left a 
short interval of darkness, which soon dispersed by the dawn of day 
-=-r-the body of the sun appearing most distinct, with the rotundity of 
the moon, before it arose high enough to render its beams too bril- 
liant for our sight. The sea, which bounded the western part, was 
gilt by its beams, at first in slender streaks, but at length it glowed 
with redness. The prospect was disclosed to us, like the gradual 
drawing-up of a curtain in a theatre. We saw more and more, till the 
heat became so powerful as to attract the mists from the various 
lakes, which in a slight degree obscured the prospect. The shadow 
of the mountain was flung many miles, and shewed its bicapitated 
form ; the Wyddfa making one, Crib y Distill the other head. The 
day proved so excessively hot, that the journey cost me the skin of 
the lower part of my face before I reached the resting place, after the 
fatigue of the morning." Anothsr time, when Mr. Pennant was on 
Snowdon, he says*-" A vast mist enveloped the whole circuit of the 
mountain. The prospect down was horrible : it gave an idea of 
numbers of abysses, concealed by a thick smoke furiously circulating 
around us : very often a gust of wind formed an opening in the 
clouds, which gave a fine and distinct vista of lake and valley ; some- 
times they opened only in one place, at others in many, at once 
exhibiting a most strange and perplexing sight of water, fields, rocks, 
or chasms, in fifty different places. They then closed at once, and 
left us involved in darkness : in a small space they would separate 
again, and fly in wild eddies round the middle of the mountains, rnd 
expose in parts both tops and bases clear to our view. We descended 
from this varied scene with great reluctance ; and before we reached 
our horses, a thunder storm overtook us: its rolling among the 
mountains was inexpressibly awful ; the rain uncommonly heavy ; so 
that we re-mounted our horses, and gained the bottom with great 
risque of being swept away by these sudden waters." 


The Welsh princes were greatly attached to the amusements of the 
field : hunting, fishing, hawking, and fowling, constituted their chief 
pleasure, exercise, and amusement, and the Welsh court was for a 
great part of the year migratory, or ambulatory ; that is, the Prince 
with his attendants took his rounds, or made regular circuits through 
the mountainous parts of Gwynedd, and provision was made by law 



for the maintenance of his hounds, horses, and attendants, in the 
neighbourhood of the Llys, or Palace. In these excursions Creigiau'r 
Eiry,* or Snowdon forest, claimed his chief attention, and seemed to 
have been the principal scene of attraction, as appears from a number 
of pjaces still bearing the name of Llys, and the different castles and 
manors in the neighbourhood of Snowdon which formerly belonged to 
the Welsh princes. One of these, Llys yn Dinorwig, in the parish of 
Llanddeiniolen,was conferred on Sir Gruffydd Llwyd, of Tregarnedd, 
in Anglesea, by Edward the First, then at Rhuddlan Castle, when 
he brought him the news of the birth of the first Prince of Wales of 
the English line ; and the king's weir of Aberglaslyn, his mills of 
Dwyvor in Eivionydd, and lands at Dolbenmaen, and the constable- 
ship of Criccieth castle, were bestowed upon Sir Howel y Fywal (or 
the Battle-axe), w 7 ho is reported to have taken John, the French king, 
prisoner, and was knighted by the Black Prince at the battle of 
Poictiers. The Welsh princes had also a seat and castle at Aber, 
where they frequently resided ; another near LJyniau Nantlli, in the 
parish of Llanllyvni, called Bala Deulyn, where Edward the First 
spent several days after his conquest of Wales. Besides these (Conve- 
niences of hunting, this part of North Wales was ysry strong in a 
military point of view ; for here we behold a range of lofty mountains, 
extending from one sea to the other, i. e. from the great Ormshead 
and Penmaenmawr, near Conway, to the Rivals, near Clynnog, on one 
side, and Gest, near Penmorva, on the other ; and having, in addition 
to these, the Conway as a barrier on the north, and Traethmawr on 
the south, over which the Welsh usually retreated when they were 
pressed by the English arms. The principal defiles, likewise, which 
opened through that range of vast mountains were secured by strong 
fortifications. The castle of Diganwy was placed on the banks of the 
Conway, nearly opposite to the present town of that name ; that of 
Caer Rhun was situated at the foot of Bwlch y Ddan Faen, on the 
east side ; with a fort at Aber on the west ; Dolwyddelan nearly 
central, as a place of safety between the mountains ; a watch tower at 
Nant Ffrangcon; Dolbadarn Castle in Nant Peris, and Castell 
Cidwm in Nant y Bettws; with a fort at Dinas Emrys, in Nant- 
gwynant; and the passes of Traethmawr and Traethbach, guarded 
by the strong castles of Harlech on one side, and Criccieth on the 
other ; with a watoh tower at Penrhyn Daudraeth, another at Cesaii 
Gyfarch, and a fort at Dolbenmaen : and all these various fortifi- 
cations, placed in the most advantageous situations, marked, for a 
rude age, great military sagacity. 

Leland observes, " All Cregeryri is forest, and no part of Merion- 
ethshire lieth in Cregeryri. The best wood of Carnarvonshire is by 
Glinne Kledder, and by Glin Llugwy, and by Capel Curig, and at 


* Creigiau'r Eiry : the snowy crags. Eiry, and not Eira, is the expression made use 
of by Aneurin and Lly warch ben and other ancient bards. 


Llan Peris. Meetly good wood about Conwy Abbey and Penmachno, 
and about Coetmore and Coit Park, near Bangor, and in many other 
places. In Lleyn and Ivioneth is little wood. Carnarvonshire, about 
the shore, hath reasonable good corn, as about a mile upland from 
the shore, near Carnarvon. The more upward be Eryri hills, and in 
them is very little corn, except oats in some places, and a little barley, 
but scanty rye ; if there were, the deer would destroy it. But in 
Lleyn and Hiuionith is good corn, both along-shore and almost 
through the upland." 

Snowdon being a royal forest, warrants were issued by the English 
Kings and Princes of Wales for the killing of the deer. " I have 
seen one," says Mr. Pennant, fe from the Duke of Suffolk, dated 
April 30th, 1552, and another in the first year of Queen Elizabeth, 
signed by Robert Townsend, and a third in 1561 by Henry Sidney. 
The second was addressed to the master of the game, ranger, and 
keeper of the Queen's Highness's Forest of Snowdon, in the county 
of Caernarvon. The last extended the forest into the counties of 
Merioneth and Anglesea, with the view of gratifying the rapacity of 
the favourite Dudley Earl of Leicester, who had by letters patent 
been appointed chief ranger of the forest. In consequence, he tyran- 
nized over these counties with great insolence, A set of informers 
immediately acquainted him that most of the freeholders' estates 
might be brought within the boundaries : commissioners were ap- 
pointed to enquire of the encroachments and concealments of lands 
within the forest ; juries were impannelled, but their returns were 
rejected by the commissioners, as unfavourable to the Earl's designs. 
The jurors performed an honest part, and found a verdict for the 
county. A new commission was then directed to Sir Richard Bulke- 
ley ; of Baron Hill, Anglesea, Sir William Herbert, and others, but 
this, by the firmness of Sir Richard, was likewise soon superseded. 
But in 1578 another was appointed, dependent upon the favourite. 
A packed jury was directed to appear at Beaumaris, who went on the 
same day to view the marsh at Malldraeth, ten miles distant, and 
found that marsh to be in the forest of Snowdon! notwithstanding it 
was in another county, and divided from the forest by an arm of the 
sea ; because the commissioners had told them that they had met 
with an indictment in the Exchequer of Caernarvon, by which they 
bad discovered that a stag had been roused in the forest of Snowdon, 
in Caernarvonshire, was pursued to the banks of the Menai, that it 
swam over that branch of the sea, and was killed at Malldraeth 
Infra Forestam nostram de Snowdon. The Jury appeared in the 
Earl's livery, blue, with ragged staves on the sleeves, and were ever 
afterwards branded with the title of the Black Jury who sold their 
country. Sir Richard, not the least^ daunted with the decision, 
continued steady in his opposition to tKe tyrant, and laid before the 
Queen the odiousness of the proceedings, and the grievances her 



loyal subjects the Welsh laboured under by the commission ; so that 
in 1579 her Highness was pleased, by proclamation, to recall it." 
Leicester, disappointed in his views, pursued Sir Richard with the 
utmost inveteracy, but his designs proved unsuccessful. 

It appears from an old Welsh manuscript, containing some of the 
poetical compositions of the three following bards, viz. Hugh ab 
Risiart ab Davydd, Morns Dwyvech, and Cadwaladr Gruffydd, that 
eight gentlemen from Lleyn, in this county, were confined in the 
Marshalsea in London, about this time, on account of the forest of 
Snowdon : viz. John Griffith, Esq. Griffith Jones, of Nyffryn, Esq. 
Hugh Richards, of Cefn Llanfair, Esq. William Griffith, Esq. Row- 
land Roberts, Esq. Hugh Gwynn, of Bodvel, Esq. Robert Jones, 
Esq. and Thomas Madryn, Esq. There are fourteen stanzas by 
Morus Dwyvech, otherwise ab Ivan ab Eineon, and eight by Cad- 
waladr Griffith, expressing their own and the general sorrow and 
regret on account of the confinement of those gentlemen, and wishing 
for their speedy release from imprisonment : -? 


Archa, ni chela wych hwyliad tra alhvy 
Trwy wyllys, a chariad, 
Im gwir Ar^lwydd, rwydd roddiad ; 
Ystyn, i wyr Lleyn, wellhad. 


Arwyth nid adwylh dwediad di fethol 
Duw fytho, yn geidwad, 
Wyth rosyn, wyth di-risiad ; 
Wyth Baun glew, wyth Ben Gwlad. 

Cadwr. Griffith, alias Cadwaladr Ce^ail. 

The Northwallian pnnces had, in addition to their title, that of 
(t Lord of Snowdon." They had five hardy barons within the tract, 
who held of them. Such was the importance of this strong region, 
that when Lly welyn was at the last extremity he rejected the proposal 
of Edward the First, of a thousand a year and some honourable 
county in England, wejl knowing that his principality must terminate 
with the cession. No sooner had Edward effected his conquest than 
he held a triumphal fair upon Snowdon, and another at Llyniau 
Nantlli, then called Bala Deulyn, and adjourned to finish the joys of 
his victory by solemn tournaments on the plains of Nevin. 

The statement by Giraldus and others, that snow remains on the 
hills the whole year, is incorrect. Sir John Wynne asserts that 
Eleanor, King Edward's queen, and William Sutton the Justice (who 
dealt hardly with the gentry of North Wales), took by force, from 
the Welsh princes' brothers and relatives, many of their manors and 
possessions in the vicinity of Snowdon. 

Further particulars respecting Snowdon, and the appearance and 
state of this county in the time of the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr, 



and the civil wars of York and Lancaster, are given by Sir John 
Wynne, in his History of the Gwydir Family. Speaking of the 
enmities and dissentions between different Welsh families in Caernar- 
vonshire, about the year 1400, and in particular of the violent con- 
tentions between two petty chieftains, viz. Howel ab Ivan ab Rh$-s 
Gethin, who lived at Dolwyddelen castle, and one David ab Jenkin, 
who occupied the rock of Carregy Gwalch, near Gwydir, he observes, 
that David ab Jenkin, finding that he was unable any longer to 
contend with his adversary, was compelled to leave the country and 
go to Ireland, where he remained for about a year. " In the end 
(says Sir John) he returned in the summer time, having himself and 
all his followers clad in green, who being come into the country, he 
dispersed them here and there among his friends, lurking by day and 
walking by night, for fear of his adversaries. All the whole country 
was then but a forest, rough and spacious, as it is still, but then waste 
of inhabitants, and all overgrown with woods ; for Owain Glyndwr's 
wars beginning in the year 1400, continued fifteen years, which 
brought such a desolation that green grass grew on the market-place 
in Llanrwst, called Bryn y Betten, and the deer fled into the church- 
yard, as it is reported.* This desolation arose from Owain Glyn- 
dwr's policy, to bring all things to waste, that the English could find 
no strength nor resting place. The country being brought to such a 
desolation, could not be replanted in haste, and the wars of York and 
Lancaster happening some fifteen years after, this country being the 
chiefest fastness of North Wales, was kept by David ab Jenkin (a 
captain of the Lancastrian faction) fifteen years in Edward the 
Fourth's time, who sent divers captains to besiege him and waste 
the country, while he kept his rock of Carreg y Gwalch, and lastly by 
the Earl Herbert, who brought it to utter desolation. Now you are 
to understand that in these days the country of Nantconwy was not 
only wooded, but also Caernarvon, Merioneth, and Denbigh shires 
seemed to be but one forest, having few inhabitants ; though, of all 
others, Nantconwy had the fewest, being the worst then, and the seat 
of the wars, to whom the country paid contribution. From the town 
of Conwy to Bala, and from Nantconwy to Denbigh (when wars did 
happen to cease in Hiraethog, the country to the east of Nantconwy), 
there was continually fostered a wasp's nest which troubled the whole 
country ; I mean a lordship belonging to Saint John of Jerusalem, 
called Spyty Ivan,f a large thing which had privilege of sanctuary. 
This peculiar jurisdiction (not governed by the king's laws) became a 
receptacle for a thousand murderers, who being safely warranted there 
by law, made the place thoroughly peopled. No spot within twenty 
miles was safe from their incursions and robberies, and what they got 


* This is a proof that the deer in SnowrJon forest were numerous at that time. 
f Hospitium sive Sanctuarium Hospital. The word is perhaps derived from Ys- 
bwyd-ty, a place of entertainment or refreshment. 


within their limits was their own. They had to their backstay friends 
and receptors in all the county of Merioneth and Powysland. These 
helping the former desolations of Nantconwy, and preying upon that 
country as their next neighbours, kept most part of tne country all 
waste and without inhabitants. In this state stood the hundred of 
Nantconwy when Meredith ab levan (my ancestor) removed his 
dwelling thither, being (as I guess) about the four-and-twentieth year 
of his age, and in the beginning of Henry the Seventh's reign. 
Being questioned by his friends, why he meant to leave his ancient 
house and habitation and dwell in Nantconwy, swarming with thieves 
and bondmen, whereof there are many in the king's lordship and 
towns in that hundred, he answered, that he should find elbow-room 
in that vast country among the bondmen, and that he had rather tight 
with outlaws than with his own blood and kindred ; ' for if I live in 
my own house in Eivionydd* (said he), I must either kill my own 
kindred, or be killed by them.'" The above narrative will be suffi- 
cient to give the reader an idea of the miserable state of the country 
at that time. 

The Marquis of Anglesea is at present the ranger of Snowdon 
forest, constable of the castle, and mayor of the town of Caernarvon. 
These offices have been for some years hereditary in the family. 

It is supposed that Carnedd Llywelyn and Camedd Davydd (two 
of the highest peaks of the Arvonian range next to Snowdon) were so 
denominated owing to their having been the temporary retreat of 
those princes during a part of the time that King Edward the First's 
army was in Wales ; and no doubt the heaps of stones still visible on 
the summits of these and other mountains were collected and placed 
there as shelters from the inclemency of the weather, to those who 
fled to them during that contest and the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr. 
And many of these hills appear to have been made use of in former 
times (as they were also in the late war) as signal-posts, and thus to 
have formed a kind of telegraphic information of the approach of an 

About seven miles to the east of Llanberis is 


(the church of which is dedicated to Saint Mary,) a small village 
completely embosomed in mountains, forming a fine contrast with the 
luxuriant meadows of the vale below ; the houses are few and irre- 
gular, but the church is remarkably neat, of the origin of which we 
have a singular tradition, which assigns the following : " At a period 
when wolves were so formidable and numerous in Wales, Llewelyn 
the Great came to reside here for the hunting season, with his 
princess and children ; but while the family were one day absent, a 
wolf entered into the house and attempted to kill an infant that was 


* O*sail Gyfarch was the name of his house. 


left asleep in the cradle. The prince's favourite greyhound, called 
Gelert (given him by King John in 1205), that was watching by the 
side,, seized the rapacious animal and killed it, but in the struggle the 
cradle was overturned, and lay upon the wolf and child. On the 
prince's return, missing the infant, and observing the dog's mouth 
stained with blood, he immediately concluded Gelert had murdered 
the child, and in a paroxysm of rage drew his sword and ran the 
faithful animal through the heart ; but how great was his astonish- 
ment when, on replacing the cradle, he found the wolf dead and his 
child alive. He, however, caused the grateful creature to be honour- 
ably interred, and, as a monument to his memory, erected a church 
on the spot, as a grateful offering to God for the preservation of his 

At Beddgelert was a priory of Augustine monks, founded by 
Anian, Bishop of Bangor, in the thirteenth century, and is supposed 
to be the oldest religious house in Wales, except Bardsey and Bangor 
Iscoed. In 1280 this monastery was much damaged by fire, but 
rebuilt soon after with money obtained by Anian, for absolving such 
as sincerely repented of their sins, by remitting the usual penance of 
forty days. There is no relict whatever of this place remaining. 
Near here is a beautiful vale called Gwynant, or more properly Nant 
Gwynant, about six miles long, and affords a great variety of woods, 
lakes, and meadows, bounded on each side by lofty mountains, which 
add considerably to the beauty of this romantic place. On the left 
hand, half a mile up the vale, is a lofty rock, called Dinas Emrys, 
the fort of Ambrosius, and where tradition says Vortigern retreated 
after calling in the Saxons, by which he for some time avoided the 
persecution and odium of his country. It is probable that on this 
insular rock he erected a temporary residence of timber, which lasted 
him till his final retreat to Nant Gwytherny, or Vortigern's valley, 
near Nevyn. Here are two beautiful lakes, abounding with trout : 
Llyn Gwynant, the uppermost, near which are the ruins of an old 
chapel, Capel Nant Trwynan ; and Llyn Dinas, the lowermost, at 
one end of which is a neat villa belonging to Daniel Vawdrey, Esq. 
and at the other the ancient fortress of Dinas Emrys. 

Tanner ascribes the church to Llewelyn, the last prince, but Mr. 
Rowlands has proved it to be more ancient even than the reign of 
Owain Gwynedd, as it obtained grants of lands, &c. from that prince, 
and also from Llewelyn the Great. The prior generally resided at 
Llanidan, in Anglesey, as appears from several deeds which Mr. 
Rowlands consulted, signed by one Kynhelin, Prior de Bethcelert, 
apud Llan Idan in monasterio ibidem. The townships of Berw and 
TreV Beirdd had been given by Prince Owain Gwynedd to this 
convent. The prior had also for his support the grange of Llech- 
eiddior in Eivionydd, also the grange of Fentidilt, and the village of 
Gwernfrelyn ; he had also an allowance of fifty -two cows and twenty- 


two sheep.* The expenses of the house must have been considerable/ 
as religious houses of this description in former times answered the 
threefold purposes of inns, almshouses, and hospitals. In 1.535 it 
was bestowed by Henry the Eighth upon the abbey of Chertsey, in 
Surrey. On the dissolution, the king gave to the family of the 
Bodvels all the lands in Caernarvonshire which belonged to this 
priory, and all those in Anglesey to that of the Prydderchs, except- 
ing the township of Tre'r Beirdd. The daughter of Richard Pry- 
ddefch, of Myfyrian, married a Llwyd of Llugwy; and on the 
extinction of that family all their estates were bought by the late 
Lord Uxbridge, who left them to his nephew, Sir William Irby, the 
late Lord Boston. Edward Conway is mentioned as the last prior. 
The revenues of Beddgelert were valued by Dugdale at twenty pounds 
three shillings and eight pence. This parish in former days pro- 
duced two celebrated Welsh bards, who both lived in the township 
of Nanmor, in the county of Merioneth ; viz. Rhys Goch o Eryri and 
Rhys Nanmor. Rhys Goch is said to have lived at a place called 
Havod Garegog ; and a stone not far from Pont Aberglaslyn is shewn 
as his chair (Cadair Rhys Goch). The scene of Southey's ' Madoc* 
is laid principally in this parish. Tradition affirms, that Prince? 
Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd (who is supposed first to have discovered 
America) resided in this parish, and used to attend divine service irt 
Nant Gwynant chapel. Sir John Wynne informs us, that when the 
Earl of Pembroke's army took Harlech castle, and thence visited 
Nantrwynan (or Nant Gwynant) in Beddgelert, a noted chief, whose 
name was Robert ab levan, of the Lancastrian faction, used to lodge 
at night in the rock called Ogo Velen, near Meillionen. This was 
about the year 1468. 


(Properly Aber Cynwy) is a large picturesque town seated near 1 a 
river of that name, formerly noted for being a pearl fishery even in 
the time of the Romans. Suetonius says the chief motive alleged by 
the Romans for their invasion was the British pearls. One presented 
to the queen of King Charles the Second, by Sir R. Wynne, is now 
honoured with a place in the regal crown. The town was strongly 
fortified by lofty walls, one mile in circumference, defended by 
twenty-four round towers and four gates, called Porth ueha, Forth 
issa, Forth y Castell, and Porth y Felin, or the Mill Gate. From 
the side towards the river ran two curtains, terminating with watcli 
towers, one of which only remains. The entrance to the castle 
(which Mr. Pennant says " is of matchless magnificence") from the 
former gai;e is by a narrow paved gallery, with round towers, leading 
to the High street, which terminates at a similar gate. The walls 


* There must be some mistake here with respect to the sheep, as the number must 
have been much greater, 


are all embattled, and 12 or 15 feet thick, built on a solid rock, but 
there is no tower to the north. The castle, built by Edward the 
First in 1284, who, it is believed, employed the same architect, De 
Ellerton, who built Caernarvon castle, stands on a high rock, com- 
manding the river, with eight round towers in its circuit, and a wall 
11 feet thick. The principal entrance was from the town to the 
north over the bridge, leading into a large oblong area, with a spa- 
cious terrace on the west. On the south, near the river, is an elegant 
hall 139 feet by 32 feet, and 30 feet high, with a chapel at one end. 
Its roof was supported by eight fine gothic arches, and warmed by a 
great fire-place at one end, and another on the side, and lighted by 
nine windows, having underneath spacious vaults for ammunition. 
Near the east end the stranger passes into a square court, surrounded 
by galleries and small apartments. On the north is the king's tower, 
a vaulted room with a recess or cell of seven pointed and groined 
arches : three are open, having under them more arches, with abase- 
ments all round. This is called the King's Seat, the other is named 
the Queen's Tower. On the south side of the castle half a tower is 
fallen from its foundation, leaving the upper part suspended, occa- 
sioned by the inhabitants digging slate from its foundation. Many of 
the towers have smaller ones arising from them as at Caernarvon. 
The castle seems to have been of considerable importance in the 
reign of Charles the First, when we find it strongly fortified, and had 
the principal effects of the county lodged within its walls. However, 
Colonel Mytton, a parliament general, got possession of it in 1646, 
but it was again restored to the owner: a breach has lately been 
made in the town wall for the road leading to the elegant and admired 
suspension bridge lately erected, the east end of which rests on a small 
rocky island, from which an embankment several hundred yards in 
length has been formed to the Denbighshire side of the river. The 
church, dedicated to Saint Mary, is a very plain structure, with a 
few good monuments of the Wynnes. The following eminent persons 
were buried therein : Cynan ab Owen Gwynedd, A. D. 1200; its great 
founder, Llywelyn ab lorwerth, 1240; Llywelyn ap Maelgwyn, 
1230; Davydd ab Llywelyn, 1246; and Gruflydd ab Llywelyn ab 
lorwerth, 1248. At the Dissolution, the founder's coffin was removed 
to Llanrwst, where it is still to be seen. A very rude figure, cut in 
stone, preserves the memory of Mary, the mother of Archbishop 
Williams, who died in child-birth of twins, October 10, 1585. In 
the church -yard is an inscription on a tomb -stone of one Nicholas 
Hookes, Gent, importing that he was the one-and-fortieth child of 
his father, William Hookes, Esq, by Alice his wife, and the father of 
twenty-seven children; he died 20th March, 1637. Here are like- 
wise some remains of a college, founded in the reign of Edward the 
First, now in complete ruins, but still shewing some specimens of 



curious workmanship, with several sculptured armorial bearings, 
some of which relate to the Stanleys. Among other curiosities of 
this town is shewn an antique house (lately inhabited by four fami- 
lies), built in a quadrangular form by Robert Wynne, Esq. of the 
family of Gwydir, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and adorned in 
the fantastic fashion of that period. The roof is singularly carved 
with a profusion of ornaments, and the front decorated with the arms 
of England, and some curious crests, with birds and beasts, bearing 
date 1585. Over the door facing the street are the arms of Queen 
Elizabeth: over the gateway is a Greek inscription, and in Latin the 
words " Sustine, abstine," and on the house " I. H. S. X. P. S." 
in Greek unicals or capitals. Richard the Second remained here 
some little time on his return from Ireland; and was soon after 
betrayed and delivered into the hands of his enemy, the usurper 
Bolingbroke. The castle of Conway was in the custody of Arch- 
bishop Williams from 1642 to 1645, when he was superseded by 
Prince Rupert, who caused Sir John Owen to take possession of it. 
Llywelyn, the son of lorwerth, Prince of North Wales, built and 
endowed a Cistertian Abbey here, to the honour of the blessed 
Virgin and all Saints, in the year 1185: but about the year 1283, 
when King Edward the First, out of the ruins of the old city, built 
a new one, he took this abbey into his hands, and founded another at 
Maenan, in Denbighshire, about three miles distant, and translated 
the monks thither."* 

DIGANWY, or Gannoc, or Din Gonwy, (the castle on the river 
Conway,) was once a famous city, but being destroyed by lightning in 
816, was never afterwards rebuilt, so that the name only now remains, 
with a tradition that Conway rose out of its ruins. Many battles are 
said to have been fought here between the Britons and Saxons. 
About 100 years ago, a number of brass celts were found under a 
great stone, placed heads and points. At present the only remains 
of this ancient place are on two hills, near the shore of Conway; the 
space between crossed by the walls running up the sides. On the 
summit of one are the vestiges of a round tower, and a few foundations 
of walls scattered on its accessible parts. In 1088, Robert Radland 
was here overpowered by the Welsh and slain. Soon after, Llywelyn 
ab Gruffydd destroyed the castle; and it was again rebuilt in the year 
1210, by Randolph Earl of Chester. King John also lay under its 
walls in 1211, but was afterwards reduced to great distress by Prince 
Llywelyn ; as was Henry the Third on the same spot. The castle 
was, however, entirely destroyed by Llywelyn ab Gruffydd. Near 
this place, on a low hill, are the remains of an ancient round tower, 20 
feet high and only 12 broad. 

At the distance of four miles from Aberconway is the village of. 
Dwygyfylchi, the church of which is dedicated to Saint Gwynin, who 


* Tanner's Not. Mon. 


flourished about the middle of the sixth century. A little south of 
Dwygyfylchi is Penmaen Mawr, a most stupendous mountain, being 
1400 feet perpendicular from its base, and to travellers extremely 
dangerous. In 1772 a good turnpike road was attempted to be car- 
ried over the middle of it ; but from its situation, close to a frightful 
precipice, it was found impossible to render it permanent and secure; 
therefore a stone wall, in many places 140 feet high, was erected, to 
defend the traveller from the clanger of the horrid precipice below 
and from the sea, which breaks just before the wall close to the road. 
When proceeding up the side of this mountain, among numerous 
fragments of stones falling or staring through the rugged surface, we 
are, therefore, happily concealed from the perpendicular declivity to 
the sea by a wall 5 feet high, erected on arches of stone bedded in 
strong mortar, but with such little foundation, that a large portion of 
it is continually falling into the Irish sea, or obstructing the road. A 
new road is now in contemplation to avoid this dangerous and horrific 
situation. On each side of Penmaen Mawr was a small inn, where 
Dean Swift wrote the following lines on the glass in one of the 
windows : 

Before you venture here to pass 
Take a good refreshing glass ; 

and at the other house, 

Now you're over take another, 
Your fainiing spirits to recover. 

On the summit stands Braich y Dinas, an ancient fortification, 
encompassed with a strong treble wall, and within each wall the 
foundation of at least 100 towers all round, of equal size, being 
about 6 yards in diameter, with, in other places, from two to three 
yards thick, the castle seems to have been impregnable, there being 
no way to assault it, because the hill is so high, steep, and rocky, and 
the walls so uncommonly strong. The way or entrance to it ascends 
by so many turnings that 100 men may defend themselves against a 
legion; yet there appears room for 20,000 men within its ruinous 
walls. At the summit of the rock, within the innermost wall, is a 
well, affording plenty of water, even in the driest summer. Tradi- 
tion makes this the strongest retreat the Britons had in Snowdon ; 
while the magnitude of the works shew it to have been a princely 
fortification, strengthened by nature and art, and seated near the sea 
on one of the highest mountains in Caernarvonshire. Mr. Pennant, 
in his examination of this place, discovered four very distinct walls, 
placed one above the other, one of which was six feet high and one 
and a half thick ; in most places the facing appeared perfect, but all 
dry work; between the walls, in all parts, were innumerable small 
buildings, mostly circular, regularly faced within and without, but 
not disposed in any certain order; though in some places the walls 
were intersected with others equally strong, and very judiciously 

w 2 


calculated to cover the passage into Anglesea, being apparently 
impregnable to every thing but famine. 

About one mile from Braich y Dinas is Y Meineu Hirion, one of 
the most remarkable monuments in all Snowdon. It is a circular 
intrenchment of 80 feet diameter, with ten stones standing on the 
outside placed endways, the whole enclosed by a stone wall. Near 
this are four other circles, but smaller, one of which shews the 
remains of a cromlech. This tract has certainly been much inhabited ; 
for all round are the remains of small buildings made of round stones, 
suited to the rude simplicity of former ages. Tradition says, a 
bloody battle was fought here between the Romans and Britons, and 
that the carneddau, now visible, are the several graves where the 
vanquished Romans were buried. At about the distance of six 
miles from Dwygyfylehi is Aber (its church dedicated to Saint 
Boda, a saint who lived about the sixth century), a celebrated little 
village, situate at the entrance of a deep glen, which runs about two 
miles, bounded on one side by a mountain covered with wood, and on 
the other side by a tremendous magnificent slate rock, called Maes y 
Gaer. At the extremity of this glen a mountain presents a concave 
front, in the centre of which a vast cataract precipitates itself above 
60 feet down the face of a rugged rock. Near the village is a conical 
mount, on which formerly stood a castle, once the residence of Lly- 
welyn the Great, and where he received a summons from Edward the 
First to deliver up the Principality to the Crown of England, with the 
offer of 1000 per annum in the latter; which, like a patriotic prince, 
he instantly rejected. Some foundations of this castle are still 
remaining on a summit, but the superstructure is entirely destroyed. 
This place is chiefly noticed for its vicinity and easy ascent to Pen- 
maen Mawr. It is also one of the ferries to Anglesea, with a pleasant 
walk of four miles over the Lavan Sands. Near this place, it is said, 
was detected the intrigue of William de Breos (son of Reginald), a 
baron in the time of Henry III.), with the wife of Llewelyn. In a 
morass, near a mountain called Bere, in this parish, Davydd, brother 
to Llewelyn, the last prince, was taken, together with his wife, two 
sons, and seven daughters. The tradition is that he was basely 
betrayed by some of his pretended friends, and that he and his family 
were carried captives, and delivered into the hands of the English 
king then at Ruddlan castle, and from thence to Salop, where he was 


(From Ban, high, and Cor, a circle,) which, though a city, consists of 
only one street, in which is the market-house and inn. The cathedral 
is the principal structure in this place, and is supposed to have been 
erected in the fifteenth century : the choir was built by Bishop Dean 
about 1496, but the tower and nave by Bishop Skivington in 1532, as 
appears by an inscription over the west door. The nave is 1 10 feet 



long by 60, the transepts 60 by 25, and the choir 54 by 26. The 
service of this cathedral is performed with true reverential decorum, 
and a regulation has been made to accommodate the inhabitants and 
environs, by having the service performed in Welsh at seven in the 
morning, English at eleven, and Welsh again at four in the evening. 
The chapter consists of a dean, three archdeacons, two precentors, 
two vicars, eight canons, six lay clerks, and eight choristers. The 
church is dedicated to Saint Deiniol, or Daniel, a saint who lived in 
the former part of the sixth -century, and who, about the year 525, 
founded a college here,, where he was abbot, and this place being 
some time after raised to the dignity of a bishoprick, he became the 
first bishop of it: he died about the year 554, and was buried in the 
Isle of Bardsey. Here are the monuments of Bishops Glynn, 1558, 
Morgan, 1673^ Robinson, 1584, Vaughan, 1597, Rowlands, 1665 
(who purchased four new bells, and new-roofed the cathedral). 
Richard Kyffin, the active Dean of this church in the reigns of 
Richard the Third and Henry the (Seventh, was buried here in 1501. 
Bishop Humphrey Lloyd was buried in Bishop Rowlands' grave in 
1688. There is a monument, with a cross, on the south transept, 
ascribed to Owen Glyndwr, who was buried at Monington, in Here- 
fordshire; but Mr. Pennant, with apparently better reason, ascribes 
it to Owain Gwynedd. Here are also the remains of a palace, built 
by BishopSkivington, surrounded by embattled walls, in the garden of 
which is a mineral spring of common chalybeate. The dean's .house 
still remains; but the rest, with Saint Mary's church, are said to 
have been built by King Edgar in 972. The old castle, said to 
be built by Hugh Lupus about the year 1098, and founded on a hill at 
some distance from the town, has been down many years agp. With- 
out the town stands the Black Friars, converted into a free-school 
by Dr. Glynn in 1557, and has long been in high repute as a training 
seminary for Oxford, and for Trinity College, Dublin. Since the 
foundation a very handsome school house has been erected, with an 
income of 400 per ann. Over the chimney is a representation of one 
Gruffydd, who is supposed to have been the founder of the former 
ruins. The church was burnt by the rebellious Owen Glyndwr in 
the reign of Henry the Fourth. The whole of the present fabric is 
one of gothic architecture, with no particular ornament to distin- 
guish it from a parish church, except some very picturesque beauties 
around its ancient foundation. 

About 18 bishops, mostly of British extraction, presided in suc- 
cession over the see of Bangor; of whom, however, little information 
can be collected previous to the annexation of the Principality to 
the Crown of England, when Bishop Anian, who was in the interest 
of Edward the First, obtained considerable grants and privileges to 
the see, and re-established the discipline and services of the church. 
The grants included five manors in the county of Caernarvon, three in 



Denbighshire, and one in Montgomeryshire. From Anian till the 
Reformation there were in succession 24 bishops of English extrac- 
tion, many of whom were great benefactors to the see, and expended 
large sums on the cathedral, &c. The bishops of this see, under the 
reformed church, were for a length of time chosen from some of the 
most respectable families in the principality. 

About two miles from Bangor is the magnificent Suspension Bridge 
over the straits of the Menai. Some years have elapsed since the 
design of erecting a bridge over the Menai strait was first con- 
templated, for the purpose of facilitating the intercourse between this 
kingdom and Ireland. In 1810 and 1811 several plans of cast-iron 
bridges were submitted to a committee of the House of Commons, 
and by them approved of as adapted to the object in question : and 
particularly one of a single arch of 500 feet in the span, and 100 feet 
above high water, submitted in 1811 by Mr. Telford, the expense of 
which was estimated at somewhat more than 127,000; but the 
difficulty of ' ' fixing a proper centering, owing to the rocky bottom of 
the channel and the depth and rapidity of the tide- way," seems to 
have caused this project to be abandoned almost as soon as it was 
conceived; and accordingly we find Mr. Telford sent in a plan of the 
cast-iron bridge, accompanied by the design of one to be constructed 
on the principle of suspension. In the course of a few years after, 
upon being engaged to execute a similar work over the Mersey at 
Runcorn, he was enabled to improve very considerably upon his 
former design. Inconsequence, in the year 1818, he laid before a 
Committee of the House of Commons his new design. According to 
this the iron hanging bridge over the Menai was to consist of one 
opening of 560 feet between the points of suspension ; in addition to 
which there were to be seven arches, four on the coast of Anglesea 
and three on that of Caernarvonshire, each 60 feet in the span, 
making the total length of the bridge 910 feet; the height above the 
level of high water line was to be 100 feet. "The roadway," observes 
Mr. Telford, " will embrace two carriage-ways, each 12 feet in 
breadth, with a foot-path of four feet between them. The whole is 
to be suspended from four lines of strong iron cables by perpendicular 
iron rods placed five feet apart, and these rods will support the road- 
way framing. The suspending power is calculated at 2016 tons, and 
the weight to be suspended, exclusive of the cables, is 343 tons, 
leaving a disposable power of 1674 tons. The four sides of the road- 
ways will be made of framed ironwork firmly bound together for seven 
feet in height, and there will be a similar work for five feet in depth 
below the cables. The weight of the whole bridge between the 
pointsof suspension will be 489 tons. The abutments will consist of 
the masonry work, comprising the extreme stone-work, the two piers, 
and the seven arches before-mentioned: each of the two piers will 
be 60 feet by 40J wide at high water-mark, having a foundation of 



rock. Upon the summit of the two main piers will be erected a 
frame of cast-iron work, of a pyramidal form, for the purpose of 
raising the cables from which the bridge is to be suspended." The 
probable cost of erecting this stupendous structure Mr. Telford 
estimated at sixty, or, allowing for any unforeseen charges, at most 
seventy thousand pounds, about half the calculated expense of the 
cast-iron bridge on the old plan. The chosen spot for its site was 
Ynys y Moch, and a little to the westward of Bangor Ferry, which 
site had been fixed for the work first proposed, and where the oppo- 
site shores seemed to offer every advantage for the undertaking. The 
first stone of this national bridge was laid, without any -ceremony, at 
noon, on Tuesday, the 10th of August, 1820, by Mr. Provis, resident- 
engineer. On the 26th of April, 1825, the first chain of this stu- 
pendous work was thrown over the straits of Menai, in the presence 
of an immense concourse of persons. At half-past two o'clock, it 
being then about half-flood tide, the raft prepared for the occasion, 
stationed on the Caernarvonshire side, near Treborth mill, which 
supported the part of the chain intended to be drawn over, began to 
move gradually from its moorings, towed by four boats, with the 
assistance of tie tide, to the centre of the river, between the two 
grand piers. When the raft was adjusted and brought to its ulti- 
mate situation, it was made fast to several buoys anchored in the 
changed for that purpose. A part of the chain, pending from the 
apex of the suspending pier on the Caernarvonshire side down 
nearly to high water-mark, was then made fast by a bolt to the part of 
the chain lying on the raft ; which operation was completed in ten 
ininutes. The next process was the fastening of the other extremity 
of the chain on the raft to two blocks of immense size and power, 
for the purpose of hoisting it up to its intended station, the apex of 
the suspending pier on the Anglesea side. When the blocks were 
made secure to the chain (comprising 25 tons weight of iron), two 
.capstans, and also two preventive capstans commenced working, each 
capstan being propelled by thirty-two men. To preserve an equal 
-tension in the rotatory evolutions of the two principal capstans, Sfifers 
played several enlivening tunes to keep the men regular in their 
steps; for which purpose they had been previously trained. At this 
critical and interesting juncture the attention of every one present 
seemed rivetted to the novel spectacle ; the chain rose majestically, 
and the gratifying sight was enthusiastically enjoyed by all present in 
" breathless silence." At ten minutes before five o'clock the final 
bolt was fixed, which completed the whole line of chain, and the 
happy event was hailed by the hearty acclamations of the spectators. 
Not the least accident, delay, or failure, occurred in any department 
during the whole operation. From the moving of the raft to the 
uniting of the chain only 2 hours and 25 minutes transpired. Upon 
the completion of the chain, three of the workmen passed along the 



upper surface of the chain, which forms a curvature of 590 feet; the versed 
sine of the arch is 43 feet. On the termination of the day's proceed- 
ings, the workmen (in number about 150) were regaled, by order of the 
Right Hon. the Parliamentary Commissioners of the Holyhcad Road 
Improvements, with a quart of cwrw da each. The sixteenth chain, 
completing the whole line of suspension, was carried over on the 9th 
of July following. 

The general opening of the bridge first took place on Monday, 
January 30, 1826. The Royal London and Holyhead Mail Coach, 
carrying the London mail bag for Dublin, passed over at one o'clock, 
A.M.; and the first carriage that passed was that of Augustus Elliot 
Fuller, Esq. one of the Commissioners, drawn by four beautiful 
greys ; the first stage coach was the Pilot, a Bangor and Caernarvon 
day coach ; the first London stage coach was the Oxonian. These 
were followed by the carriage of Sir David Erskine, Bart, late pro- 
prietor of the Ferry, drawn by four elegant greys decorated witli 
ribbons, and by several gentlemen's carriages, landaus, gigs, cars, 
&c. &c. and horsemen : numerous flags were flying, and cannons 
(stationed on each side of the bridge) were discharged at intervals of 
the day. The dimensions of the bridge are as follows r^The extreme 
length of the chain from the fastenings in the rocks is about 1715 
feet; the height of the roadway from high water line is 100 feet; 
each of the seven small piers from high water line to the spring of 
the arches is 65 feet ; the span of each arch is 62 feet. Each of the 
suspending piers is 52 feet above the road; the road on the bridge 
consists of two carriage-ways of 12 feet each, with a foot-path of 4 
feet in the centre ; the length of the suspended part of the road from 
pier to pier is 553 feet; the carriage-road passes through two arches 
in the suspending piers of the width of 9 feet by 15 feet in height to 
the spring of the arches. To counteract the attraction and expansion 
of the iron from the effects of the change in the atmosphere, a set of 
rollers are placed under cast-iron saddles on the top of the suspending 
piers where the chains rest; the vertical rods, an inch square, sus- 
pended from the chains, support the sleepers for the flooring of the 
roadway, the rods being placed 5 feet from each other. The chains^ 
16 in number, consist of 5 bars each ; length of the bar 9 feet 9 
inches, width 3 inches by 1 inch, with 6 connecting lengths at each 
joint 1 foot 6 inches by 10 inches and 1 inch, secured by two bolts at 
each joint, each bolt weighing about 56 pounds ; and the total num- 
ber of the bars in the cross-section of the chain is 80. 

From Bangor, in a south-easterly direction, is the village of Llan- 
dygau; and at the distance of about 14 miles on the right is CapeJ 
Curig. The church is dedicated to Saint Curig, a saint who came 
into Wales about the seventh century, and who has two other churches 
dedicated to him in Wales. It is a small village, containing little 
more than a small church and public-house. It is delightfully situ- 


ated in a vale, bounded by Snowdon and its surrounding mountains, 
and this vale affords one of the most picturesque landscapes in the 
whole county, consisting of a great variety of wood and water, which 
are frequently wanted in our Cambrian vales to render them com- 
pletely picturesque. Here are also two large pools, called Llyniau 
Mymbu or Llyniau Capel Curig ; near one of which the late Lord 
Penrhyn built a comfortable inn, from a design of Mr. Wyatt. In the 
neighbourhood are some quarries, and several remarkable works, 
well worth the traveller's observation. It is thought that this part of 
the country was much frequented by the Romans, on account of its 
slate quarries and valuable lead and copper mines. There are consi- 
derable remains of a large Roman building on an estate belonging to 
the Earl of Gwydir, between Llanrwst and Capel Curig, near a place 
called Bryn Gefeiliau (the hill of the smithy) ; and it is probable that 
a Roman road passed this way from Trawsfynydd, Merionethsire, to 
Caer Rhun. Great quantities of building materials have been taken 
from these remains for several years past. " I distinctly traced," 
says Mr. Lysons, " the walls of one room, the dimensions of which 
were 60 feet by 20, and of another, 18 feet 6 inches square, in which 
were several short square pillars of stone, like those of the hypocaust 
under the Feathers Inn, in Chester." 

A short distance from Capel Curig is Rhayadr-y-Wenol, a cele- 
brated cataract; the scenery round which is extremely grand, parti- 
cularly the upper part, where the water is thrown in a sheet down a 
rock almost perpendicular, after which it varies its course and be- 
comes smooth and beautiful, taking its direction between high wooded 
banks, entwined by different tints of oak, birch, and hazel, which 
hang from the impending rock. 

About 4 miles south of Capel Curig is Dolwyddelan Castle, situate 
in the parish of that name, the church of which is dedicated to Saint 
Gwyddelan, a saint of whom little is known, situated on a high en- 
closed rock, with square towers of 40 feet by 25, each containing three 
floors. The walls of the court, once 6 feet thick, are now entirely 
destroyed, and only a small part left of the other buildings. Mr, 
Rowland supposes this castle to have been built as early as the time 
of Maelgwyn Gwynedd, who lived in the sixth century, afterwards the 
residence of lorwerth Drwyndwn (or Drwndwn), and where his son 
Llewelyn the Great was born. The materials of this castle are the 
common stone of the country, well squared, and the masonry ex- 
tremely good. Howel ap levan ap Rhys Gethyn, a noted outlaw, 
once resided here. At that period, after the civil wars, and the 
rebellion of Owen Glyndwr, this part of the country was in a very 
lawless state. Meredydd ap levan, an ancestor of the Gwydir family, 
was, however, the means of reforming it ; and according to the ac- 
count given by Sir John Wynne, he established colonies of the most 
tall and able men that he could procure, till at last they amounted to 



seven score tall bowmen, every one arrayed in a jacket or armlet 
coat, a good steel cap, a short sword, and dagger, together with his 
bow and arrows: many of them had horses and chasing staves, and 
all were ready to answer the call on all occasions. He also founded 
the strong house of Penmanmaen, a mile distant from the castle. At 
that period there was a gang of marauders at Sputty levan, who used 
to plunder the whole country and put it under contribution. The 
said Meredydd, however, soon checked and finally dispersed this 
dangerous banditti. The church of Dolwyddelan, which is small, 
has in it a monument, commemorating such of Meredydd's family as 
were buried there. 

About two miles to the north-east of Dolwyddelan village is Bettws 
y Coed, or Bettws Wyrion Iddon, a small village. In the church, 
which is dedicated to Saint Michael, is an ancient monument to the 
memory of Davydd, brother to Llewelyn, the last Prince of Wales. 
Here the road leads into the luxuriant vale of Llanrwst, in the 
neighbourhood of which are a number of gentlemen's seats ; the prin- 
cipal of which is Gwydir House, an ancient seat of the family of 
Wynne, built at the foot of a lofty rock called Carreg-y-Gwalch, well 
clotted with wood; it consists of an antique edifice, erected round a 
greater and lesser court, having over a gateway I. W. (for John 
Wynne), with the date 1558. Gwydir derives its name from Gwaed- 
dir, or the Bloody Land, in allusion to the battle fought here by 
Llywarch Hen about the year 610. On the rock, above Lower 
Gwydir, stood another mansion, called Upper Gwydir, built in a 
beautiful situation, amidst rich meadows watered by the Conway. 
The mansion was erected by Sir John Wynne in 1604 with classical 
taste. On the walls were many inscriptions, particularly over the 
entrance, where was read this panegyric, 

Fryn Gwydir gwelir golcu adeilad 

Uch dolydd a cbaurau. 
Bryn gweich adail yn ail ne; 
Bron wen Henllys bron liinlle. 

The entrance has been of late demolished; but the family chapel, 
standing near the site of the old house, is still preserved, and has 
service performed in it four times a-year. This ancient seat continued 
in the family of Wynne till 1678, when it first passed into that of 
Ancaster, by marriage of Mary, the heiress of Sir Richard Wynne, to 
the Marquis of Lindsay, and was afterwards possessed by Sir Peter 
Burrell, Knight, in right of his wife the Baroness Willoughby, 
eldest daughter of the late Duke of Ancaster, in whose family it now 
remains, and hence its possessor derives the title of Earl of Gwydir. 

About two miles to the north is Trevrew or Trevrhiw, the church 
of which is dedicated to Saint Mary. Llewelyn had a palace here, 
and some hewn stones have been found in ploughing a field contijgu- 
ous, called Gardd-y-Neuodd. The Welsh princes had a hunting 
seat here, and also some lands, which, after the conquest, became the 



property of the Crown. Llewelyn is stated to have built the church 
for the convenience of his princess. Dr. Thomas William, a native 
of this place, was the author of part of the Welsh Latin Dictionary : 
he was first a clergyman, afterwards practised as a physician, and was 
related to Sir John Wynne, of Gwydir, by whom he was patronised. 
Clynogvawr is rendered remarkable by being the place where Beuno 
(the son of a nobleman of Powys-land) settled in 616, and, as the 
tradition goes, raised Saint Winifred to life. He built the church, 
which is dedicated to him, and which was conventual, St. Beuno 
himself being the first abbot. It presents the remains of a very mag- 
nificent stone building 132 feet in extent, and was chiefly kept in 
repair by oblations at Beuno's tomb on Trinity Sunday, until the 
decayed state of the roof made a brief for that purpose necessary. 
The chancel windows were adorned with pictures of Beuno and 
Winifred, but the ornaments are now reduced to three whole-length 
saints. By the steeple on the south side is a very ancient vault; 
likewise Beuno's chapel, measuring 41 feet by 24; in the middle is 
his monument, a plain altar-tomb, on which country people lay their 
children after bathing them in his well. There were formerly brought 
to it lambs with Beuno's mark, either redeemed or left for the abbot. 
This custom is still continued to the churchwardens, but greatly 
reduced in number, as is the money, kept in an old chest called Cyflf 
St. Beuno, which used to be applied to the repair of the church. It 
is now a sinecure, worth upwards of 200 a year, in the gift of Jesus' 
College, Oxford. The church is the most magnificent of its kind in 
North Wales ; it is built in the shape of a cross, the length from east 
to west 38 feet, from north to south 70. Colonel Twistleton, who 
took Sir John Owen prisoner in the time of Oliver Cromwell, married 
the heiress of William Glynn, of Leiar, in this parish. The old 
.church where Saint Beuno lieth is close by the new one. 

About 6 miles from Clynogfawr is the village of Llanhaiarn, a 
place of no note ; 6 miles to the south-west of which, on the right- 
hand of the road, is Nevyn (the church of which is dedicated to 
Saint Mary), a small town contributory to Caernarvon, bestowed on 
Nigel de Lohareyn by Edward the Black Prince, and made a free 
borough, with a hall and every privilege attendant on free boroughs. 
Here Edward the First^ in 1284, held his triumph on the conquest of 
Wales, and, in imitation of Arthur, held a round table, with a dance 
and tournaments. The concourse of nobility and gentry that as- 
sembled here on this occasion was prodigious. 

Near Nevyn is Nant-y-Gwrtheryn, or Vortigern's Valley , an im- 
mense hollow, where Vortigern is said to have fled from the rage and 
persecution of his countrymen, for inviting the Saxons into Britain, 
and where the monks inform us that his castle was destroyed by 
lightning. Indeed fancy cannot frame a place more fit for a retreat 
from mankind, being embosomed in lofty mountains, with an opening 



only to the sea. The glen is at present only tenanted by three 
families, who raise oats and keep a few sheep and cattle, produced 
and maintained with great difficulty. Just above the sea is a verdant 
mount, natural except the top and sides, which appear worked on by 
art ; having the first flatted, and the sides worked or marked with 
eight prominent ribs from top to bottom. On this might have been 
the residence of the unfortunate Vortigern, of which time has 
destroyed every other vestige. Till about the beginning of the last 
century, a tumulus of stone within and externally covered with turf, 
was to be seen here, and known by the name of Bedd-Gwrtheryn, 
tradition having regularly delivered down the report of this having 
been the place of his interment. The inhabitants of this parish, 
some time since, dug into the earn or tumulus, and found within it a 
stone coffin, containing the bones of a tall man. This gives a degree 
of credibility to the tradition, especially as no other bones were found 
with it, neither is there any other tumulus near the spot, which is at 
least a proof of respect to the rank of the person ; and that the place 
was deserted after the interment of our royal fugitive in the year 465 
is highly credible. Near Vortigern's Valley is Tre J r Caeri, or the 
Town of the Fortresses, which runs from one side of the Eifl 
mountains to the other, and consists of an immense rampart of stones, 
or perhaps the ruins of a wall made to block up the pass, and appears 
to have been a very strong British post. The accessible side is 
defended by three walls; but the lowest is very imperfect, the next 
tolerably entire, with a magnificent entrance : this wall in one part 
points upwards towards the third wall, which runs round the top of 
the hill : the second wall unites with the first, which, running into a 
point, joins the highest in a place where the hill is inaccessible. The 
facings on the two upper walls are in good preservation,, especially 
that of the uppermost. The space on the top is an irregular area ; 
one part is steep, the other flat, and in some places covered with 
heath ; but the whole is almost filled with cells, which are best seen 
from the summit, where they appear disposed with much art, and of 
various forms, round, oval, oblong, and square, lying scattered about 
the plain ; others contiguous to the wall, but all on the inside. The 
upper wall was in many places 15 feet high on the outside, and often 
16 feet broad. On the south of Tre 'r Caer is Moelrgarn Guwch, a 
hill of conical form, having on its summit a prodigious heap of stones, 
seemingly a shapeless ruin, called by the country people Arffedoged- 
y-Cowres, or " The apron-full of stones flung down by the Giantess," 
a tradition very common among the illiterate of Caernarvon, Meri- 
oneth, and Radnorshire. 

On the road, at the distance of about 8 miles from Llanhaiarn, is 
Pwllheli (the chapel of which is dedicated to Saint Beuno), a consi- 
derable market town and magazine for goods, which are sent from 
hence to most parts of this county ; it has also a good harbour for 



vessels of about 60 tons. Edward the Black Prince made this place 
a free borough, by charter dated in the twelfth year of his princi- 
pality, and granted the fee-farm of it and of Nevyn to one of the 
gentlemen of his bed-chamber (Nigel de Loryngor Lohrayne), in con- 
sideration of his services in Gascony, and particularly at Poictiers. 
Giraldus Cambrensis, in company with Baldwin, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, who was on a tour through the principality in the year 
1 185, in order to obtain contributions towards the Crusade, remained 
a night in this town. About five miles distant is Cam Madryn, a 
strong fortress of the sons of Owen Gwynedd : the bottom, sides, 
and top are filled with cells of different shapes, once covered ; many 
of which are now pretty entire, as is a wall which surrounded the 
summit. About three miles east of Pwllheli is the village of Aber- 
erch, where, as some Welsh manuscripts assert, Thomas Puleston, 
Esq. brother to Sir Roger Puleston, was buried, soon after the 
conquest of Wales by Edward the First. 

About 8 miles beyond is Criccieth (the church of which is dedi- 
cated to Saint Catherine), a market town and borough, united with 
Caernarvon, and governed by two bailiffs. The castle has been its 
chief ground of importance, though only a small building, and at 
present in a very ruinous condition. It is situated on an eminence 
jutting into the sea, from whence is a fine view across the bay to 
Harlech and its once magnificent castle. From the architecture 
of this castle it may be pronounced to be of British origin, although 
Edward the First is the reputed founder; but he seems to have 
done no more than build the two towers at its entrance, and after- 
wards appoint William de Leybourn constable, with a salary of 100, 
out of which he was to maintain 30 men, and a chaplain, surgeon, 
carpenter, and mason. From what now remains, it appears originally 
to have consisted of four square courts, and on each side the, entrance 
a round tower ; it had also the honour of being the residence of the 
valiant Sir Howel y Fwyal, who disputed the honour of taking the 
King of France prisoner at Poictiers with a Knight of Artois. 

In the parish of Llanllechid is a cave, in a field called Caer 
Gwillim Ddu, where, according to tradition, William de Breos was 
buried, after being executed on suspicion of too great familiarity 
with Joan, the consort of Llewelyn the Great. In the parish of 
Dwygyfylchi, above a place called Gwyddwg Glas, are numerous 
circles of stones at unequal distances from each other, the largest of 
which is 8 feet 3 inches high : on the ground is another, 1 1 feet 
2 inches high ; the diameter of this circle is 80 feet. Near this are 
four others, far inferior in size : in the centre of one is a flat stone, 
seemingly the remains of a cromlech. About a quarter of a mile from 
these is a large carnedd, composed of small stones ; and not far from 
it a rude stone, standing upright, called Maen y Campiau, or Stone of 
the Games. Some of the British games, of which the Welsh had 



twenty-four, may probably have been celebrated here : the principal 
of these were,-^l. Strength to raise weights; 2. Running; 3. Leap* 
ing; 4. Wrestling; 5. Riding. The last (Marchogaeth) probably 
included driving small cars or chariots. In the parish of Bryncroes, 
on the lands of Tymawr, was discovered, some years ago, a cistvaen, 
or stone coffin, containing an urn with burnt bones and ashes; and 
near a house called Monachdy there was formerly a cromlech, but at 
present there is only one stone remaining. There are, however, 
several cromlechs in different parts of this county. 

Aberdaron (the church of which is dedicated to Saint Howyn, a 
saint of the island of Bardsey) is situate on the river Daron, which 
discharges itself into Saint George's Channel. Aberdaron was for- 
merly much resorted to, being the place where devotees usually took 
boat for the island of Bardsey. There is a house in this parish still 
known by the name of Court, where, in former times, courts were held 
for the manor of Bardsey ; an eminence near it, called Bryn y Grog- 
bren (the Gallows Hill) ; and another house in the neighbourhood, 
called Secar (the Exchequer). In a hollow, between two hills called 
Uwch Mynydd and Mynydd y Gwyddel, are the ruins of Saint Mary's 
chapel (Capel Fair), and below the clift is a cave called Ogo Vair, in 
which there is a well (Ffynnon Fair) : the point of the rock is called 
Braich y Pwll, and that particular part of it under which the well is 
situated Maen Melyn (the yellow stone). Jn times of popery this 
well, which was only accessible at low water, was much frequented 
by devotees, who superstitiously believed that if they could but carry 
a mouthful of water by a circuitous and dangerous path to the summit 
of the hill, their wish, whatever it might be, would be surely gratified. 
The chapel was placed here to give seamen an opportunity of invoking 
the tutelar saint for protection through the dangerous sound of 
Bardsey; and probably the walls of the chapel were in those supersti- 
tious times covered with votive tablets. 

Bettws Garmon (the chapel of which is dedicated to Saint Garmon, 
i. e. Germanus, one of the most distinguished of the British saints,) is 
most romantically situate near the river Gwyrvai, in a narrow valley 
between high mountains ; and the cascade and scenery about Nant- 
rnill are greatly admired. Mr. Rowland states that there was a fort 
in ancient times near Castell Cidwm, at the foot of Mynyddmawr 
mountain ; but in all probability he was misinformed, as the remains 
of such a building are still visible on the north side of the vale above 
Carreg Goch, not far from Trevlan. Cawellyn Lake, anciently 
called Llyn Tarddynni, is in this parish; it abounds with trout and 
char : one ascent to Snowdon commences near this pool. There is a 
fine spring of water on the side of a hill about a mile west of the 
church, called Saint Garmon's Hill, which is reputed to be efficacious 
in rheumatic complaints and eruptive disorders. 

Bodverin (the chapel of which is dedicated to Saint Merin, but now 



in ruins) is situate on the Irish sea. In this parish is a small creek 
called Forth Verin, and another called Forth lago; and a well, near a 
place called Trevgraig, which is the source of the river Daron : it is 
known by the name of Ffynnon Bibau. On the side of the hill 
called Mynnydd Moelvre, or Mynnydd yr Ystum, are the ruins of an 
old chapel, called Capel Odo ; and near it is a tumulus, distinguished 
by the appellation of Bedd Odo, or Odo's grave, who according to 
tradition was a great giant. 

Caer Hen (the old town), otherwise Caer Rhun, the fortress of 
Rhim, a prince of that name, has a church dedicated to Saint Mary. 
In the 16th volume of the Archaeologia, page 127, is a description of 
Roman antiquities discovered here, by Samuel Lysons, Esq. whose 
taste, judgment, and accuracy are so universally known. All writers, 
says this gentleman, on the subject of Roman stations in this island, 
agree in opinion that Caer Rhun, a small village on the river Con- 
way, is the site of the ancient Conovium, a station which occurs in 
the llth iter of Antoninus's Itinerary, and in the 1st of that of 
Richard of Cirencester. Camden supposes the name Caerhun to be a 
corruption of Caer hen, i. e. the Old City ; but says that the common 
tradition of the neighbourhood was, that it received its name from 
Rhun ap Maelgwyn Gwynedd. It is certain that in very ancient 
writings it is called Caerhun, whatever may be the etymology of its 
name. Bishop Gibson, in his additions to Camdem's Britannia, 
says, that not many years since there was a Roman hypocaust disco- 
vered at Caerhun; and that he had seen, in the possession of Sir 
Thomas Mostyn, Bart, some curiosities which he had received from 
thence, particularly a hollow brick, and a round piece of copper forty 
pounds weight. The site of Conovium is nearly a square of 260 feet, 
surrounded by a slight vallum of earth, at the distance of somewhat 
more than 500 feet from the river Conway, on the next side to which 
the ground is very .steep from the edge of the station. Within this 
ancient site stands the church of Caerhun, but no dwelling house, the 
village being at some distance. At a small distance north-w r est from 
the church two ancient sepulchres were discovered several years ago 6 
walled and of a square form, containing human bones. In the hilly 
ground between the station and the river, called Erw Gaer, i. e. the 
Castle Acre, the remains of a considerable building was discovered 
several years ago, then supposed to have been a hypocaust. On the 
9th of May, 1799, the Honourable Colonel Greville exhibited to the 
Society of Antiquaries an ancient shield, which was found at Caerhun 
a short time before, on the east side of the Roman station, on opening 
an old drain about two feet below the surface of the earth : and at the 
same time he exhibited several specimens of ancient pottery, disco- 
vered at the same place, nearly resembling the red Samian ware so 
frequently met with in Roman stations, but of a softer substance, and 
the figures not so well executed. These were supposed to have been 



manufactured near the spot where they were found, as there remained 
evident traces of fire, and a considerable quantity of fine clay. At the 
same time the fragment of a small patera of the Samiaii ware was 
found, with " Patria" stamped on the bottom of it. In the investiga- 
tion of these Roman remains, assisted by the Rev. Hugh Davies 
Griffith, the proprietor of Caerhun, in the latter end of July, 1801, 
the Welsh labourers, continues Mr. Lysons, " undertook the work 
with more than usual energy, being fully impressed with the belief 
that great treasures were buried in ICrw Gaer, and having a tradition 
among them of some extraordinary discoveries which had been for- 
merly made in an adjoining grove. Having examined two rooms 
which had been discovered several years ago, we proceeded to investi- 
gate at the south end of them, and by following the course of the 
walls, soon ascertained the form of another room (20 feet 9 inches by 
14 feet 10 inches), which we cleared out. To the depth of 5 feet 
below the surface it was filled with large stones, earth, and rubbish, 
below which was a stratum of black mould mixed with burnt wood, 
in which lay many fragments of coarse earthen vessels of various 
kinds; but only two of which retained enough to shew their original 
form: one of them was an amphora. In the same place was also 
found a coarse lamp of lead. Bricks of various thicknesses were also 
found among the rubbish ; and several masses of wall, formed chiefly 
of thin brick tiles laid in mortar; also many lumps of clay, and of a 
stalactitical incrustation. At the east end of the room was a sort of 
hearth, formed of large thin stones, placed edgeways in the earth, and 
large bricks laid flat over them, bearing strong marks of fire. On the 
north side of the room were two piers rudely constructed ; they were 
built partly of the hard stone of the country and partly of sand-stone. 
In the spaces between them great quantities of fragments of pottery, 
several lumps of clay, and several pieces of iron were found, There 
did not appear to be any remains of pavement in this room; under it 
was a small drain of stone, covered with slates. Having thoroughly 
investigated this end of the building, and having every reason to 
believe that it had not extended any further southward, we proceeded 
to explore the opposite end, and soon discovered it to be of a very 
irregular form. In the first room which we now broke into there 
were no remains of pavement : the fragments of plaster remained on 
some parts of the wall. The area of this room was filled with loose 
rubbish, mortar, and fragments of bricks and tiles ; among which we 
found a rude kind of square pillar, 2 feet 7| inches in height, of sand- 
stone, exactly similar to those \vhich support thehypocaust discovered 
many years ago in Bridge Street, Chester, and a part of a brick 
funnel, the aperture of which was 6 inches by 4f inches, and the sides 
about half an inch thick. The next room was paved with large 
slates, in which was a pier, 2 feet 10 inches square, of brick and 
stone in alternate layers, and 1 foot 4 inches high ; some of the bricks 



were 17 inches square and 2 inches thick, others 17 inches by 21. 
Great part of the walls of this room were of brick, and in some places 
the plaster was remaining red. At the north-west corner were two 
steps of stone leading into a further room, which appeared to have 
been very much worn by use. Under the floor of this room we disco- 
vered a drain, varying in width from 1 foot 3 inches to 1 foot 
inches, and from 3 feet 7 inches in deptli to 4 feet 6 inches ; the 
bottom of it was formed of large slates. In clearing out this apart- 
ment we found the fragment of a piece of cornice of sand-stone, and a 
kind of square stone post 2 feet 9 inches in length, with a round hole 
near the top I inch and a half in diameter, and the tenon at the other 
end by which it had been fixed up. This appeared to have been a 
kind of vestibule; it is 23 feet 1 inch in length. In a fourth room 
were found many stone pillars of the same kind as that already 
described, standing upright and supporting parts of the floor, which 
was of large slates, others had fallen down. There did not appear 
any funnels in the walls, or other marks of a hypocaust. On the 
outside of the building, close to one of the walls of the rooms, wo 
found a stone 2 feet long and 1 foot wide, with a channel cut in the 
middle as if for the conveyance of water from a spout, and from this 
were laid a row of seven brick funnels, closely fitted together : they 
were all of them 10J inches in length, but varied in width, some 
being 6 J inches wide and others only 5 J ; they had all of them round 
holes on the narrow sides; some of them were scored on the broadest 
sides. The funnel, represented in Gibson's Camden, and supposed 
to have belonged to a hypocaust, exactly resembles these. A copper 
coin of Domitian, and an iron chain of 28 links, somewhat larger than 
a modern jack-chain, were afterwards discovered by Mr. Griffiths, 
together with some small precious stones perforated, and part (prob- 
ably) of a necklace. The Author laments the disadvantage which 
the abstract of this interesting investigation sustains, by want of the 
ground-plan and the delineation of the several antiquities that were 
discovered in this place, which appears, in all probability, to have 
been a manufactory of Roman pottery. 

Dolbenmaen is a chapelry, and its chapel is dedicated to Saint 
Beuno. In former times this neighbourhood (says Pennant) abounded 
with gentry; and the country was divided into two clans, one de- 
scended from Owain Gwynedd, Prince of Wales, and the other from 
Collwyn ap Tangno, a valiant chieftain of the ninth century. From 
the former were descended the four houses of Ccssail Gyfarch, Ystum 
Cegid, Clenneney, Brynkir, &c. ; and the descendants of the latter 
consisted of the houses of Whilog, Bron y Voel, Berkin, Gwynvryn, 
Tal Henbpnt (now Plas Hen), and Pennardd. " The feuds among 
these families," says Sir John Wynne, " filled the land with blood." 
Both parties encouraged and protected /in y thieves and outlaws, who 
were ready to side with them, and execute any horrid deed proposed to 



them, in order to be revenged on the opposite faction. Not far from 
the church is a mount or pretty large tumulus, which, from every 
appearance, formed the foundation of one of those watch-towers or 
small castles, constructed of timber, that were so common in times 
prior to the invention of gunpowder. Near Ystum Cegid are three 
cromlechs joining to each other, which are possibly memorials of 
three chieftains slain on the spot : and near Clenneney, on Bwlch 
Craigwen, is a druidieal circle, consisting of thirty-eight stones. 
Brynkir was visited by the celebrated Lord Lyttelton, who published 
Letters descriptive of North Wales ; the house was then inhabited by 
a family of the same name (Brynkir), with one of whom (a fellow 
collegian) he ascended the high hill of Moel Hedog. 

Llanfihangel y Pennant (the church of which is dedicated to Saint 
Michael) is situated between lofty hills, and in a very retired situation ; 
it is the adjoining parish to Dolbenmaen; and Brynkir, the seat of 
Sir Joseph Huddart, is in this parish. Here are several monuments 
to the memory of the Brynkir family. James Brynkir is said to have 
been a great sufferer for his royal master: he was born in 1600, and 
died in 1644. Here also lies the body of Catherine, sixth daughter 
of Colonel William Price, of Rhiwlas, and Mary, daughter and 
co-heiress of David Holland, of Kinmel, Esq. his wife : she was 
married to James Brynkir, Esq. in 1687, and by him had issue four 
sons and one daughter, and departed this life August 16th, 1728, 
aged 65. 

Eglwys Rhos or Llanrhos, otherwise Llanfair yn Rhos. The 
church (as the latter name imports) is dedicated to Saint Mary. In 
the township of Bryniau is a field called Gardd y Monachdy, i. e. 
the Garden belonging to the Monastery ; and also the ruins of a 
building upon an elevated situation, which is supposed to have been 
a watch-tower. There is also the ruins of an old castle, called 
Cast ell Fardre, in a very strong situation near Diganwy, in the town- 
ship of Pen Clais; it is situate on Conway Bay. In this parish are 
four very ancient family seats, Gloddaeth, and Bodysgallen, the 
property of Sir Thomas Mostyn, Baronet ; the former built in the 
time of Queen Elizabeth, and still furnished with the old oak and 
other furniture peculiar to that age. The other two are Marie, at one 
time the property of Sir Thomas Prendergast, and Plas Penrhyn, 

Creuddin, formerly the seat of Pugh, Esq. who married the 

heiress of Coetmore. 

Cyffin. The church of this place is a quarter of a mile south by 
west of Conway, but the parish extends in a direction southward to 
the distance of four miles : the small brook near which the church 
is situate is called Cyffin, from which it is supposed the parish has 
taken its name, the meaning of the word is the boundary or confine. 
At Cymryd, where was formerly a ford over the Conway, a severe 
engagement was fought in the year 880, between Anarawd", Prince of 



North Wales, and Edred (or Eadred), Duke of Mercia, in which the 
ancient Britons obtained a complete victory over the Saxon army. 

Llandegai or Llandygai. The church is dedicated to Saint Tegai 
or Tega Glasog, of Maelan, who is supposed to have lived at the 
close of the fifth and beginning of the sixth century. It is one mile 
east of Bangor. The church is situate on a lofty bank above the 
river Ogwen, and behind it to the north, on a lofty eminence, is Penrhyn 
Castle, now the magnificent seat of George Hay Dawkins Pennant, 
Esq. M. P. who succeeded to this princely property on the death of 
the late Lord and Lady Penrhyn. This house is said to have been 
built on the site of a palace of Rhodri Molwynog, Prince of Wales, 
who began his reign in 720. It continued long in the possession of 
the Welsh princes. In 987 it was levelled to the ground byMeredydd 
ap Owain, who, in that year, invaded North Wales, and slew Cad- 
wallon ap levan, the reigning prince. In the time of Llewelyn the 
Great it was bestowed, with the whole hundred of Llechwedd Ucha, 
on Yarddur ap Trahaiarn, a man of rank at that period. Eva, one of 
his descendants, who had, by the customary division of the lands by 
gavelkind, Penrhyn to her share, bestowed it, with her person, on 
Gruffydd ap Heilyn ap Sir Tudur ap Ednyved Vychan, originally 
Lord of Bryn tfanigl. The family flourished here for many genera- 
tions. William Vychan, son of Gwilym ap Gruflfydd, and of Janet, 
(laughter of Sir William Stanley, of Hooton, and relict of Judge 
Parys, Chamberlain of North Wales and Chester, succeeded in the 
18th of Henry VI. to the estates of his father, and also to those of the 
judge, and likewise succeeded the latter in his important office of 
Chamberlain of North Wales, an honour continued to several of 
his posterity. It is remarkable that in this time the severity of the 
laws against the Welsh were so rigidly enforced that he was made 
denizen of England, on condition that he should not marry a Welsh 
w r oman ; and accordingly he espoused a daughter of Sir Richard 
Dalton. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Piers Griffith,* lord of 
that place, distinguished himself as a naval officer. He sailed from 
Beaumaris on the 20th of April, 1538, and arrived at Plymouth on 
the 4th of May, where he was most honourably received by that, 
gallant commander, Sir Francis Drake. He shared with the other 
men of rank and courage in the honour of defeating the Spanish 
Armada. After that distinguished victory he joined with Sir Francis 
Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh in their different expeditions against 
the Spaniards in the West Indies ; but in the reign of James the 
First, continuing his depredations against the Spaniards after peace 
was proclaimed, he was called to account, and was so harassed by 

x 2 

* Me married Margaret, daughter of Sir Thomas Mostyn, Knight, and had by her 
three sons, all of whom died young. It is said he built or repaired ships at Abercegin, 
where there were of late years, on the gable end of a house, his initials, P. G and the 
date 1598. 


prosecutions, that he was obliged to mortgage bis estate to defray tbe 
expenses, part to some citizens of London, and part to Evan Lloyd, 
Esq. of Yale; the latter of whom, in conjunction with Sir Richard 
Trevor, bought the whole, and sold it to the Lord Keeper Williams 
in 1622. The Archbishop bequeathed it to Griffith Williams, son of 
his eldest brother, created a Baronet, June 17th, 1661. His son, 
Sir Robert, the last owner who inhabited Penrhyn, left three daugh- 
ters : Frances, who was first married to Robert Lloyd, Esq. of 
Ecclusham, near Wrexham, afterwards to Edward Lord Russell, 
third son of the first Duke of Bedford; Anne, who married Thomas 
Warburton, of Winnington, Cheshire; and Gwen, who married Sir 
Walter Yonge, of Devonshire. Lord Russell having no issue, gene- 
rously resigned his part of the estate to the surviving sisters. Sir 
George Yonge, grandson of the former, sold his moiety to the late 
John Pennant, Esq, whose son Richard Pennant, afterwards Lord 
Penrhyn, became possessed of the whole by virtue of his marriage 
with Anne Susannah, daughter and sole heiress of the late General 
Warburton, of W'innington. The old buildings stood round a court, 
and consisted of a gateway, chapel, tower, vast hall, and a few other 
apartments ; and by several ruins their former extent could be traced. 
The house was rebuilt in the reign of Henry VI. by Gwilym ap 
Gruffydd. The Stanley arms (those of his wife coupled with his 
own) were to be seen in the hall windows till the year 1764. By the 
initials R. G. and the date 1575, it appears that Sir Rhys Gruffydd 
repaired it in that year. The room above the entrance was used as 
the office of the Chamberlain of North Wales, which dignified station 
was, as before stated, conferred on many of that family. The ancient 
fee was 20 annually. The chamberlain acted as chancellor to each 
of the Welsh circuits, and each had his seal, which served for the 
shires comprehended within the circuit : his court for this circuit was 
held at Caernarvon. The late proprietor, Lord Penrhyn, made very 
considerable alterations in the buildings; and his successor is at 
present (1830) engaged in rebuilding the whole on an extensive scale, 
and in a most magnificent style, so as to render it one of the most 
complete castellated baronial mansions, perhaps, in the kingdom. 
The situation is unrivalled in this, or probably, any other part of 
Great Britain, commanding a complete view of Beaumaris bay, the 
towns of Bangor and Beaumaris, together with Baron Hill, Fryars, 
and Beaumaris castle, and a great part of the island of Anglesea, 
Priestholm Island, Ormshead, Penmaenmawr, and the whole of the 
stupendous range of the Caernarvonshire mountains, terminating in 
the peaks of the Rivals near Clynnog. A grand massive, substantial 
gateway, on a corresponding plan, has been completed, together with 
a handsome park wall. There is also an elegant chapel near the 
house for the accommodation of the family ; and on the beach there 
are handsome and commodious hot and cold baths, built by the late 



Lady Penrhyn. In the church, which is a neat structure in the 
form of a cross, with a tower in the centre, supported within by four 
arches, are several monuments ; one (alabaster) of an armed man and 
his lady* recumbent : they are supposed by Mr. Pennant to have 
been removed here at the Dissolution from the Friary at Llanvaes, 
near Beaumaris. Here is also a mutilated monument to the memory 
of Archbishop Williams, with his figure in his episcopal dress, 
kneeling at the altar; under it is a lon latin inscription.' The late 
Reverend Sneyd Davies wrote a beautiful poem to his memory, which 
is preserved in Dodsley's collections. Here is also a most superb 
monument to the memory of the late Lord Penrhyn, erected by his 
lady, and executed by Westmacott. On it are several figures, repre- 
sented as lamenting the death of their lord : two full-lengths, the male 
a quarryman, with the tools belonging to his employment, and the 
female a young peasant of the country. In the back-ground are 
several other smaller figures.-^ It would exceed our limits to enter 
into a minute detail of all the improvements made by the late Lord 
Penrhyn in this very interesting parish and its flourishing neighbour- 
hood ; suffice it to observe, that about 40 years ago this part of the 
country bore a most wild, barren, and uncultivated appearance, but 
it is now covered with handsome villas, well-built farm-houses, neat 
cottages, rich meadows, well-cultivated fields, and flourishing planta- 
tions ; bridges have been built, new roads made, bogs and swampy 
grounds drained and cultivated, neat fences raised, and barren rocks 
covered with woods. In fact, what has been accomplished in this 
neighbourhood in so short a space of time may be denominated a new 
creation, and that principally by means of one active and noble- 
minded individual, who disposed of his vast resources in various acts 
of improvement ; and by so doing gave employment to hundreds of 
his fellow-creatures, who were thus rendered comfortable and happy. 
The slate quarries at Cae Braich y Cefn, the most considerable in 
Wales, are the property of G. H. D. Pennant, Esq. : the rock has 
been opened at a great expense, and the quarries are worked with 
great judgment and to a vast extent, as there are about 1500 persons 
constantly employed; it is computed that about 200 tons or upwards 
of slates are daily conveyed down to Port Penrhyn. These quarries 
were discovered so far back as the time of Queen Elizabeth, as 
appears from a poetical composition written by John Tudyr, Re- 
gistrar of the Ecclesiastical Court of Saint Asaph, and addressed to 
Rowland Thomas, LL. D. Dean of Bangor, wherein he requests him 
to procure him a ship-load of slates from Aber Ogwen, where it 
seems they were then shipped, and not at Port Penrhyn. The above 
gentleman was Dean of Bangor from 1570 to 1588. In the year 
1740 the slates were all of one size, and very small; and when a 
larger kind was introduced they were called doubles, and a still 

* These are supposed to be Gwilym ap Gruffydd, of this family, and his lady. 


larger sort double doubles, and the men counted every thousand of 
these as four thousand, being equal to as many of the small. General 
Warburton, proprietor of the estate, being then in the county, called 
the double doubles ladies, and a larger sort he denominated countesses ; 
a thousand of the latter the workmen counted as eight thousand, and 
this method of reckoning was continued until Lord Penrhyn took the 
quarries into his own hands, which was about the year 1782, when 
his lordship cleared the rubbish that had been accumulating for 
ages, and opened these quarries in a judicious and scientific manner, 
and at a vast expense. His lordship also made an iron rail-road from 
Port Penrhyn to these quarries, being the distance of six miles. He 
likewise erected a large saw-mill within a quarter of a mile of the 
slate rock, where slate slabs are sawn into chimney-pieces, tomb- 
stones, and for other purposes. New sorts of slates covering roofs 
have also been introduced, and denominated queens, duchesses, 
patents, &c. His lordship erected another mill for the purpose of 
grinding down flints, quartz, &c. for the uses of the porcelain or china 
manufactories; and near it another large and curious machine, for 
pressing oil out of linseed, and for grinding paint. Lastly, to crown 
all his other acts of munificence, he built an elegant and com- 
modious new church for the accommodation of the quarrymen, 
and also a good house for the residence of the clergyman, to which 
he added a handsome endowment. Ogwen pool, whence the river of 
that name issues, is partly in this parish and partly in Llanllechid, and 
abounds with fine trout, which in season cuts red like salmon. Llyn 
Idwal, another small lakje not far from Ogwen, is also in this parish : 
near this pool, according to tradition, a young prince of that name 
(Idwal or Edwal) was murdered by his foster-father. It is not an 
unfit place for such horrid deeds, as it seems completely secluded 
from the world, and is surrounded by frightful rocks and precipices. 
The shepherds fable that it is the haunt of daemons, and that no bird 
will fly over its baneful waters, which, according to their account, are 
as fatal as those of Avernus. 

" Quam super baud ullae poterant impune volante tendere iler pennis." 

Above it is the dark, tremendous split rock, Twll Du, called by the 
Welsh Cegin y Diawl, the Devil's Kitchen. Llyn Bochllwyd, situate 
to the south of Ogwen, and considerably above it, is also in this 
parish, and the brook which proceeds from it runs into Llyn Ogwen. 
Llanfair Fechan (little Saint Mary's) has its church dedicated to 
Saint Mary, and is situate near the great and tremendous Penmaen- 
mawr. The church is very small, and stands on a small eminence just 
above the road. Near the sea-shore, in this parish, is Bryn y Neuodd, 
an old decayed family seat, at one time the property of Humphrey 
Roberts, Esq. and afterwards of Robert Wynne, Esq. In the begin- 
ning of the sixth century Seiriol, a British saint, is said to have lived 
i hermit between the two summits of Penmaenmawr, where still is to 



be seen what are called his bed and well ; but his hermitage being 
robbed, the saint retired to a small island on the Anglesey coast, 
Priestholm, where he built a chapel and a cell, and there he is 
thought to have died. Immediately under and adjoining this parish 
and that of Aber there was, in former times, a large tract of land 
{now at high water covered by the tide) about 12 miles in length by 
7 or 8 in breadth, being formerly in possession of Helig ap Glanog, 
and where he had his llys or court; the whole of which, in the sixth 
century, was overflowed by the sea. It is now denominated Traeth y 
Lavan, or the Lavan Sands, derived from traeth (sands) and lavan 
(sea-liverwort or laver, which here grows in great abundance). 

Llangelynin. The church is conveniently situated (as many of the 
Welsh churches are) in a very retired place, and nearly at the upper 
extremity of the parish. It is dedicated to Saint Celynin, who, 
according to the account given in an ancient Welsh manuscript, called 
Achau'r Saint, i, e. The Pedigrees of the Saints, was son of Helig ap 
Glanog, and brother of Rhychwyn, Brothen, and Peris. 

Llangystennyn has its church dedicated to Saint Cystennyn, sur- 
named the Blessed, the eightieth king of Britain. In the east window 
of this church there is some old painted glass, on which are repre- 
sented the figures of our Saviour, Saint George and the Dragon, and 
Justice: in another window appears the figures of Saint Peter, Saint 
Nicholas, and Saint Catherine. 

Llandrillo. The church is dedicated to Saint Trillo, one of the 
sons of Ithael Hael. This Trillo accompanied Cad van into Wales 
dn the beginning of the sixth century. Near the shore is a singular 
little building, called Saint Trillo's chapel. Not far from the church 
is a large ruined house, called Bryn Euryn, formerly called Llys 
Maelgwyn Gwynedd, who, it is said, had a palace on this spot. 
About the twelfth century it was inhabited by the great Ednyved 
Fychan ; and until the last century it was possessed by a family of 
the name of Conway, who derived their origin from Gruflfydd or 
Griffith Goch, Lord of Rhos and Rhuvoniog. Rhos Vynach, or the 
Marsh of the Monks, was at one time the property of Conway abbey. 
There is a considerable weir near this point, and the bishop of the 
diocese and the vicar of this parish claim the fish taken here at every 
tenth tide. In former times, mackerel to the amount of 40 pounds 
have been taken here in two successive tides. 

Llanbedry Cennin. r-The church is dedicated to Saint Peter. On 
the summit of a hill called Pen Caer Helen is a strong British fort- 
ress, guarded by several fosses and strong ramparts of stones. 
There is a horse-road by the church, over the mountain called Bwlch 
y Ddauvaen, to Aber. There is a fine water-fall near Porthllwyd, in 
this parish, not far from the road to Llanrwst. 

Llanrhychwyn has its church dedicated to Saint Rhychwyn, who 
lived about the middle of the sixth century. Near a small lake in 



this parish,, called Llyn Geirionydd, lived the celebrated bard 
Taliesin. In one of the windows of the church is some painted glass, 
and the following inscription: Sancte Rhychwin, ora pro riobis. 

Llandegwnning 1 . The church is dedicated to Saint Tegonwy, who 
lived at the close of the fifth and beginning of the sixth century. It 
is situate near the river Sochan. In an old manuscript, Llandegwn- 
ning is represented as a chapel of ease to Llaniestyn, and said to be 
dedicated to Saint Gwnning. A tribute of respect is justly due from 
his countrymen to the memory of Colonel Evan Jones, of Gelliwig, 
in this parish, who frequently distinguished himself in the late war, 
both in the West Indies under Sir Charles Grey, and in Holland and 
Egypt under Sir Ralph Abercrombie. He died at Rose Hill, near 
Wrexham, 25th March, 1821. 

Liang wynodyl, alias Llangwnadl. The church is dedicated to 
Saint Micnael and to Saint Gwynhoydyl: the latter lived about the 
middle of the sixth century. The church consists of three naves, and 
is constructed on arches, on one of which is the following inscription 
in large Roman characters: " S. Gwynhoydyl jacet hie 750," and 
on another, " Haec aedes aedificata est A.D. M. 

Llan Engan, or Eineon Frenin, has its church dedicated to Saint 
Einion, a saint who lived about the middle of the sixth century. 
Upon the tower of the church is an inscription, though now nearly 
effaced, signifying that it was built by Einion, the king of Lleyn. 
Owain is said to have founded a college at Penmon, over which he 
placed his brother Seiriol as principal, and where the people of Scan- 
dinavia resorted generally to be instructed in the Christian faith : 
the seminary was afterwards called Cor Seiriol. He also, in con- 
junction with Emyr Llydaw, founded the college of Enlli or Bardsey, 
since called Cor Cadvan, from Cadvan, who built an abbey there, and 
became abbot. On the east, about a mile from the mainland, are two 
small islands, called Saint TudwaFs. The islands are appropriated 
for a sheepwalk during the summer months, and are annually fre- 
quented by vast numbers of puffins, which breed there in the month 
of July: there are also a few rabbits on them. Upon one of them 
are the ruins of a small chapel, dedicated to Saint Tudwal, and which 
was, some time ago, converted into a barn, when the island was under 
tillage. Leland has noticed these islands in the following words :- 
" Almost a mile from Penrhyn Dee, in Leene, is Inis Tidwale, six 
acres in compass. Jn it is a little church desolate. There be kept 
sheep, and there be conies. It is a mile from Penrhyn land by south- 
east. There is a church in Leene, called Llan Engan Vrenin, i. e. 
Fanum Niniani Reguli, where was of late pilgrimage to Aber Daron 
and Enlli (Bardsey). The famous road of Saint Tudwal is reckoned 
to be one of the best and safest in Great Britain, and it is so exten- 
sive, that it would contain the whole navy of Great Britain, with good 
holding ground of stiff blue clay." 



Llanbedrog has its church dedicated to Saint Pedrog, who lived 
about the beginning of the seventh century. On a mountain, about a 
mile above Castelhnarch, are the remains of a cromlech, near a place 
called Yr Hen Enfail ; the top stone is about two yards square and 
two feet thick, there are three supporters still remaining, and the 
broken remains of three others. 

Llangian. The church is dedicated to Saint Cian, according to 
Dr. W. O. Pughe; but Mr. Browne Willis says to Saint Peris. This 
Cian is said to have been Peris's disciple. On a marble cenotaph in 
his church is the following inscription to the memory of the brave 
Captain Edwards, R. N. : " Sacred to the memory of Timothy 
Edwards, Esq. of Nanhoran, who being appointed to the command 
of the Cornwall man of war of 74 guns in the year 1777, and having 
in the course of a twelvemonth distinguished himself in four successive 
engagements in the West Indies against the French fleet, was unfor- 
tunately, on his return home, carried off by a bilious fever, on the 
12th day of July, 1780, aged 49, before he had received those 
honours from his king and country which were destined to be the 
reward of his gallant services. His disconsolate widow, penetrated 
with the deepest sorrow for her loss, caused this monument to be 
erected. On his arrival in England he was to have been created a 
Baronet, and to have been elected Member of Parliament for Ayles- 
bury, Bucks." Near the sea-coast in this parish is an old mansion, 
called Castellmarch, now the property of Thomas Assheton Smith, Esq. 
Lord Lieutenant of the County. Over the porch is the date 1628, 
with the arms of the Jones's of Castellmarch, who were descended 
from Meirion Goch, of Lleyn, viz. Argent, a chevron Azure between 
three nags' heads erased Sable ; and in one of the rooms, over the 
fire-place, " Vivat post funera virtus." Sir William Jones, Knight, 
the gentleman who built the house, was kidnapped (according to the 
tradition of the country-people) and carried prisoner to France, for 
having given some offence to his workmen ; but as he and Thomas 
Price, of Plas lolyn, Esq. were out during the Spanish war, and car- 
rying on their depredations after peace was proclaimed, it is more 
reasonable to suppose that he was taken and carried away as a 
prisoner to answer for his misconduct. Sir William Williams, of 
Vaynol, Baronet, having married Margaret Jones, the heiress of 
Castellmarch, became thus possessed of the property. 

Llangybi. The church is dedicated to St. Cybi, or Kybi. Here 
is a fine spring of water, which is in great repute, and said to be 
efficacious in paralytic, epileptic, and rheumatic cases ; the water is 
rough and bitter to'the taste. 

Llanarmon has its church dedicated to Saint Garmon, one of the 
most distinguished of the British saints. Plas Dii is in this parish, 
an old mansion which had the honour of giving birth to two cele- 
brated characters, viz. John Owen, the well-known epigrammatist; 



and John Evans, Bishop of Bangor from 1701 to 1715, when he was 
translated to Meath, and succeeded by Dr. Benjamin Hoadley. 

Llanystyundwy, or Llanystyndwy. The church is dedicated to 
Saint John the Baptist. Plas Hen, in this parish, is now the pro- 
perty of Sir Thomas Mostyn. Its original name was Tal Henbont, 
and was the property of the Vaughans, who were descended from 
Collwyn ap Tangno, the head of one of the fifteen tribes. The 
heiress of this house first married Evan Lloyd Vaughan, Esq. and, 
secondly, William Lloyd, Esq. a younger son of Bod Idris. 

Llanelhaiarn. The church is dedicated to Saint Elhaiarn, who 
lived in the middle of the seventh century. Near the church is a fine 
well, once much frequented on account of its reputed sanctity. Y 
Gyrn Ddu, Gyrn Goch, and Voel Penllechog are high hills in this 
parish ; and Voel Bron Miod, Bwlch Drwswnewl, and Gaer Tyddyn- 
mawr are old fortifications and remarkable passes between the 

Llanllyfni has its church dedicated to Saint Rhecliw, a saint whose 
history is not known. The river Llyfni, which rises in the Nanlle 
lakes, in the upper part of the parish, runs through it and occasions 
two divisions; out of each of which a churchwarden and constable are 
annually appointed. The Nanlle Lakes are two in number, and in 
the direction of Snowdon: one of them is upwards of half a-mile in 
length and half-a-mile in breadth, the other is nearly half-a-mile in 
length and the same in breadth, being half a stone's throw distant 
from each other. The waters from the copper works of Drwsycoed 
are said to have considerably diminished the quantity of fish in them ; 
but there are two smaller lakes in the mountain, called Llyn Cwm 
Silin and Llyn Cwm Dylyn, that are more favourable for anglers. 
A great quantity of slate is quarried in this parish, and also in that 
part of the parish of Llandwrog immediately adjacent, which are 
conveyed to and exported from Caernarvon. One side of this parish 
being bounded by a chain of mountains renders the scenery rather 
romantic ; and it is thought that Snowdon, though not less than eight 
miles distant, appears to a greater advantage from the parsonage- 
house than from any other place. Craig y Dinas, i. e. the City 
Rock, is a piece of ground of a circular form, about 70 yards in 
diameter, rather steep on the side that is close to the river Llyfni, 
and on the other side run two mounds, a few yards distant from each 
other, forming a ditch between them ; that which is nearest to the 
platform is covered with stones, as if there had been some building, or 
that they had been intended for that purpose. The tradition of the 
parishioners is, that there was anciently a town there, and that there 
is still money undiscovered on the spot ; and that a church once stood 
upon it. A stone fence now surrounds the green area ; and though 
the idea of its having been once a town is the most prevalent, it is, 
however, thought to have been an old military position. Michael 



Prichard, the poet, was born here about the year 1710, and died in 
1731. Several of his works are preserved, which possess great 
merit. Here Saint Rhediw, according to Mr. Owen, was buried ; 
and they shew his well, his seat, the print of his horse's shoe, and the 
mark of his thumb on a stone. These are some of the remains of the 
superstitious legends of the dark ages of popery. In the church- 
yard are the following inscriptions on tomb-stones : ' ' Here lyeth the 
body of the Rev. and learned Foulk Price, late Rector of this parish, 
who was a faithful shepherd of his flock 35 years, and died January 
27th, 1706, aged 70 years." Also, " The 'Reverend Lewis Price, 
Rector, died May the 8th, 1714, aged 33: this stone was put 
up by his son, the Reverend J. Price, Vicar of Conway." " Reverend 
William Evans, died July the 2d, 1732, aged 35." On another 
stone, " Underneath lie the remains of Richard Garnons, of Pant 
Du, Gent, and Catherine his first wife: she was buried on the 7th 
day of July, 1718, aged 36; and he on the 17th day of April, 1742, 
aged 77, after having served in his youthful days as a volunteer in all 
the Irish wars." 

Llandwrog has its church dedicated to Saint Twrog.* In this 
parish is Glynn Llivon, once the residence of Cilmin Troed-ddu, head 
of one of the 15 tribes of North Wales, but now the seat of the Right 
Hon. Lord Newborough. It has lately been repaired, and the house 
furnished in a most costly and superb manner : numerous rare paint- 
ings and various antiquities of value have been brought hither from 
Italy and other parts of the continent. His lordship has also made 
many improvements about the house, principally by enlarging the 
park, about which has been built a lofty wall. Dinas Dinlle, a forti- 
fied eminence on the verge of the sea, was an old Roman encampment, 
and several coins have been discovered there at different times. On 
the 15th of November, 1810, Joseph Williams, Esq. of Glan yr 
Afon, exhibited to the Society of Antiquaries of London a ring, in the 
stone of which was cut the Goddess of Victory, with a trophy, which 
was discovered in the ruins of Dinas Dinlle, a township in this parish, 
which implies <f the fortified place in the marsh," about 80 years 
ago, and which he had worn as a singular rarity for the last 50 years. 
Remains of a Roman road leading from Dinas Dinlle to Segontium 
were visible till within these few years, and two small fords on it are 
still distinguished by the names of Rhyd yr Equestri and Rhyd y 
Pedestri, i. e. the horse and foot fords. The following is a list of 
forts in this and the neighbouring parish of Llanwnda : Dinas y Prif ; 
Hen Gastell; Dinas Franog, a square fort; Caer Ifridd; Bwlan; 
Bryn y Gorseddau; Carnedd Angharad; Bedd Gwennon; Bettws 
Gwenrhyw; Talwrn yr Arch; Murian Gwilym Ddu, or Tyddyn 


* Dr. Davies, under the word Tiboeth, in his Welsh and Latin Dictionary, mentions a 
remarkable book, called " Tiboeth Twrog," formerly kept in Clynnog church, and seen 
by Dr. Thomas Williams, of Trevriw, in 1594. This book was supposed to have been 
miraculously preserved when the church was burnt, 


Tudur Aled, being the remains of the dwelling of the poet of that 

Llanwnda has its church dedicated to Saint Gwyndav (some say to 
Saint Beuno). Gwyndav lived about the middle of the sixth century, 
and was buried at Bardsey. Dinas Dinoeth was an old Roman 
encampment connected with Segontium and Dinas Dinlle. The 
late Reverend Mr. Farrington, who wrote a short account of all the 
Roman encampments in this county, and the outposts connected with 
them, resided in this parish. 

Mellteyrn, alias Myllteyrn. The church is dedicated to Saint 
Peter in Vincula. This parish is divided into two equal parts by a 
rivulet, called Rhydlas, the western division being in the hundred of 
Cwmwtmaen, and the eastern in that of Cyfflegion. A river called 
Cavaen, which runs from north to south on the east part of the parish, 
separates it from the chapelry of Bottwnog: and another river, called 
Sochan, which runs from north to south on the west part of the 
parish, separates it from the parish of Bryncroes. Bishop Rowland, 
who founded a free-school at Bottwnog, was bom at Plas Myllteyrn, 
in this parish, and was Rector of this parish in 1572. In 1584 he 
became Rector of Aberdaron, and Prebendary of Penmynydd; and in 
1593 Bishop of Bangor. He founded two fellowships at Jesus 
College, Oxford, and an hospital for six poor men at Bangor. He 
died July 6th, 1616, and was buried at Bangor. 

Pistill, orPistyll, is situate upon the bay of Caernarvon, at the foot 
of the Rivals. Nor far off is that gloomy hollow called Nant Gwrth- 
eryn, or Vortigem's Valley, before described, and which tradition 
assigns as one of the retreats of that cruel tyrant. Tre 'r Ceiri, the 
encampments and fortifications in this neighbourhood, so well de- 
scribed by Mr. Pennant, are well worthy the attention of the anti- 
quary ; and Carreg y Llam, the side of the mountain next the sea, is a 
tremendous precipice, along the edges of which are arranged, at 
different heights, the nests of different birds of passage that frequent 
this place in the summer season; and below r , just above high water- 
mark, is a curious cave, visited by tourists. The church is dedicated 
to Saint Beuno. The name Pistyll signifies " the water spout." 

Penmorva has its church dedicated to Saint Beuno. A new town, 
called Tremadoc, has been built in this parish by the late lamented 
W. Alexander Madocks, Esq. for many years M. P. for Boston ; and 
an elegant new church has also been erected. An embankment, one 
mile in extent, across the sand called Traeth Mawr, and forming a 
safe communication between the two counties, has likewise been made 
by the same gentleman ; and at the end of this embankment is a 
wharf or quay for vessels to load and unload. In Penmorva church 
is a handsome monument to the memory of Sir John Owen, of Clen- 
neney, in this parish, a royalist general and supporter of Charles the 
First. He was condemned by the parliament to lose his head, but 



through the interest of Ireton, his advocate, was for a few months 
imprisoned in Windsor Castle, and then restored to his friends. He 
died in the year 1666, aged 66. His wife was Janet, daughter of 
Griffith Vaughan, Esq. of Cors y Gedol. His grand-daughter, 
Elena Owen, caused this memorial to be erected. Here is also a 
smaller monument to the memory of Sir William Maurice, Knight, of 
Clenneney, who died 10th August, 1622. Humphrey Humphreys, 
D. D. Bishop of Ban gor from 1690 to 1701, resided some years at 
Cessail Gyvarch, in this parish. It was from this part of the coast 
that Madoc, the son of Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales in 
1170, is reported to have sailed for America. 

Penmachno is situate near the source of the Machno, from which it 
takes its name. Dr. William Morgan, Bishop of Saint Asaph, who 
first translated the Old Testament into Welsh, was born at a place 
called Ewybr Nant, in this parish. Hugh Machno, a celebrated 
Welsh bard, who had a poetical contest with Archdeacon Price about 
the year 1595, was also a native of this parish. There are several 
slate quarries in this parish ; and the church is dedicated to Saint 

Rhiw. The church is dedicated to Saint Aelrhyw, and is situated 
near Porth Rhiew, on Cardigan bay. There is also a well here, 
called Ffynnon Aeliw (a contraction of Aelrhiw), the waters of which 
are supposed to be efficacious in the cure of cutaneous disorders, par- 
ticularly one of that description called Mann Aeliw. 

BARDSEY ISLAND, called Ynys Enlli, or the Island in the Current, 
is in the parish of Aberdaron, and situate about a mile from the 
south-western part of the mainland of Caernarvonshire : it is a re- 
markable fertile plain, about two miles in circumference, and well 
cultivated. It is venerable for the remains of its ancient abbey, 
which was originally a large stone building. Not far from the abbey 
is a singular chapel or oratory, consisting of a long arched building, 
with an insulated stone altar near the east, where one of the inhabit- 
ants often reads prayers. It was founded in the year 516 : Lletiddadd or 
Laudatus was the first abbot, and it was valued at the Dissolution at 
about 56. It was dedicated to Saint Mary ; and here Dubricius, 
the Archbishop, retired after his resignation of the see of Canterbury 
about the year 522. Saint Daniel, the first Bishop of Bangor, is said 
to have been buried here; and also Merddin ab Morvyrn (the bard), 
Hywyn ab Gwyndav Hen, Cadwallon, Cadvan, Saint Beuno, Saint 
Padarn, Deirden, Dervel, and many other pious men and saints. 
Cadwallon, son of Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales, was 
abbot of Bardsey, as was also Robert, son of Meredydd ab Ivan, who 
married the daughter of Eineon ap Ithel, of Rhiwedog, esquire to 
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. This island was granted by 
Edward the Sixth to his uncle Sir Thomas Seymour, and after his 
death to John Earl of Warwick. Sir John Wynne, of Glynnllivon, 



grandfather to Lord Newborough, purchased it from the late Reverend 
John Wilson, of Newark, and it still remains in that family. John 
Wynne ap Hugh, of the family of Bodvel, was standard-bearer at the 
battle of Norwich, in the time of Edward the Sixth, for which service 
he had granted to him Bardsey and Court in Aberdaron; and was 
sheriff of Caernarvonshire in 1551 : he married Elizabeth, daughter 
of Sir John Puleston, by a daughter of Robert ap Meredith ap 
Hwlkin Llwyd, of Glynnllivon. The spiritual concerns are now 
under the care of a single rustic ; although the island is said to have 
formerly afforded an asylum for 20,000 saints for life, and after death 
graves for as many bodies; on which Dr. Fuller judiciously observes, 
" It icould be more facile to find graves for as many saints than 
saints for so many graves" The slaughter of the monks at Bangor 
Iscoed, in Flintshire, about the year 607, is supposed to have contri- 
buted to the population of Bardsey ; for many pious persons fled here 
to avoid the persecutions of the Saxons, and sought islands and desert 
places, in which they might in security worship the true God. 

The undermentioned celebrated or learned Personages were Na- 
tives or Residents of Caernarvonshire Chief Justice Glynne, born 
at Glyn Llivon ; Archbishop Williams ; Bishops Rowlands, Vaughan, 
Robinson, Humphreys, Evans, Griffith, and Morgan (who translated 
the Old Testament into Welsh) ; Sir William Maurice, and Sir John 
Owen, of Clenneney ; Sir Howel y Fwyall ; Dr. Thomas Williams, 
ofTrevriw, author of a Latin-Welsh Dictionary; Mrs. Piozzi ; John 
Owen, of Plas Du, the Epigrammatist. Also the following Bards : 
Taliesin; Gwilym Ddu o Arvon ; Robin Ddu; Rhys Goch o Eryri ; 
William Lleyn ; Hugh Lleyn; Hugh Machno; William Cynwal, of 
Dolwyddelan, 1590; Cadwaladr Cessail : Hugh Pennant; Lewis 
Daron; Rh) T s Nanmor; David Nanmor; Roger Kyffin, Rector of 
Llanberris. Its modern Bards have been Michael Prichard, a poet ; 
Reverend Mr. Farrington; David Thomas, alias Davydd Ddu o 
Eryri; and Sion Lleyn. 




I HIS county took its name from the principal town, Denbigh, in 
Welsh called Dinbach, i.e. the small fortification or town; or, from 
its situation in a retired corner, Bach or Cilfach. Its most ancient 
name was Caled-vryn yn Rhos, or the hard rock in the hundred of 
Rhos. Denbighshire is bounded on the east by Flintshire and 
Shropshire, on the south by Merionethshire and part of Montgomery- 
shire, on the West by Caernarvonshire, and on the north by the 
Irish Sea. It extends about 30 miles in length, and 15 in breadth. 
This part of the county, prior to the conquest of Wales by Edward 
the First, appears to have been possessed by David ap Gruffydd, one 
of the Welsh princes ; for Sir John Wynne, in his History of the 
Gwydir Family, informs us, " that Henry Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, 
wishing to make a princely seat of Denbigh castle, by force compelled 
the children of the said David ap Gruflfydd to exchange their posses- 
sions about Denbigh castle with him for other lands of less value in 
the said lordship, in the furthest part from him. The mountains in 
this county are not so lofty as those of Caernarvonshire and Merioneth- 
shire, and the climate is milder and more temperate, particularly in 
the Vale of Clwyd. Moel Famma, the highest hill in this county, is 
not above 1850 feet high; besides the mountains in this county in 
general have none of that barren, steep, rocky, and terrific appearance 
which constitutes the characteristic of those in the neighbourhood of 
Snowdon and Cader Idris. A new line of road is opened fromPentre 
Voelas to Denbigh over Hiraethog mountain, which in its present 
uncultivated state has a very desolate and barren appearance, and the 
traveller has to proceed many miles without seeing any human habita- 
tion. After the conquest of Wales by Edward the First, the king 
politically secured his new acquisitions by bestowing several of the 
lordships on his followers. The castle of Ruthin, together with the 
cantref of DyfFryn Clwyd, he bestowed on Reginald de Grey; to 
which were added the townships of Maesmynan, Penbedw, and 
Blowite, as dependencies on the castle : and out of this ancient cantref 
was formed the present Lordship of Ruthin, which comprehends 
several parishes. It remained in the family of the Greys till the 
time of Richard Earl of Kent, who, having dissipated his fortune by 
gambling, sold it to Henry the Seventh. Queen Elizabeth bestowed 
it on Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick ; and it is now in the posses- 
sion of a branch of the Chirk castle family. Reginald de Grey was 
the nobleman who unjustly possessed himself of Croesau (some lands 
belonging to Owain Glyndwr), and was thus the cause of that chief- 
tain's rebellion. The king also gave the lordship of Denbigh to 
Henry Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, who built the castle, and enclosed with 


a wall the town he found there. Among other privileges, he gave 
his vassals the liberty of destroying all the wild beasts on the lord- 
ship, except in certain parts reserved out of the grant for the purpose 
of the particular amusement of their lord. In the reign of Henry the 
Sixth we find the names of five parks in this lordship.* On the 
death of Lacy the lordship passed to Thomas Earl of Lancaster, by 
virtue of his marriage with Alicia, daughter of the last possessor. 
After the attainder of Thomas, Edward the Second bestowed it on 
Hugh D'Espencer, as Lord of Denbigh, who proved an oppressive 
superior, and abridged the inhabitants of the privileges granted them 
by Lacy. By the fatal end of that favourite it fell again to the crown. 
Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, succeeded Hugh D'Espencer as 
Lord of Denbigh, by grant from Edward the Third; and upon his 
death William Mountacute, Earl of Salisbury, was invested with the 
same authority. He died in 1333; and on the reversal of the 
attainder of the Earl of March, it was restored to his family in the 
person of his grandson Roger: but by the marriage of Anne, sister to 
another Roger, last Earl of March, with Richard Plantagenet, Earl 
of Cambridge, it came into the House of York, and so again to the 
crown. Queen Elizabeth, in 1563, bestowed it as a most valuable 
gift on her favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, who soon 
made the county feel the weight of his oppression. Notwithstanding 
the tenants made him a present of 2000 at his first entrance into the 
lordship, he remained dissatisfied, and compelled the freeholders to 
raise the old rents of 250 a-year to 800 or 900: he also enclosed 
the waste lands, to the great injury of the tenants, who, offended at 
his rapacity, arose and levelled his encroachments. This was con- 
strued into a riot and rebellion, and two hopeful young men of 
the house of Lleweni wera taken to Shrewsbury, where they were 
tried and executed for the pretended offence. He had the insolence 
to mortgage the manor to some merchants in London, and, as it is 
generally believed, deceived them for their credulity. The various 
disorders which arose from these practices were so great that Elizabeth 
interposed, and by charter confirmed the quiet possession of the 
tenants, and allayed the discontents. These were again excited in 
the reign of King William by the vast grant made to the Earl of 
Portland ; the same ferments arose, and the same means were used to 
allay them. At present this and the other manors of Bromfield, 
Maelor, and Yale remain in the crown, and are superintended by a 
steward appointed by the king. The noblemen to whom grants were 
made by Edward the First introduced a great number of Englishmen 
into Wales as their retainers. Henry Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, brought 
with him the Lathams, Knowsleys, Curthoses, Pigots, Heitons, 
Peaks, Thelwalls, Goodmans, Moyles, Jervises, &c. ; and many others 


* Moylcwike (Molowip) ; Carrsnodooke (Carry Miodojj); Kylford (Cnlffordd) ; Bag- 
hay (Bachau) j Poscy, of which Ihe king constituted Owain Tydyr Rang* r. 


were the followers of Reginald de Grey. As the Welsh were pos- 
sessed of a proud spirit of independence, and had enjoyed the sweets 
of liberty for many years under their own native princes, the English 
yoke must have appeared to them intolerably galling and oppressive ; 
some allowances must therefore be made for their resistance to the 
exactions, tyrannical oppressions, and cruelties of their haughty con- 
querors. We have a long list of their complaints which were sent at 
different times to the English kino-; and as these were but seldom 
redressed, it is not to be wondered at if these degraded, but still 
high-minded people, broke out into open rebellion, as was frequently 
the case. Meirig Llwyd ap Bleddyn, of the house of Havodunos, in 
this county, resentful of the injuries which he and his tenants re- 
ceived from the English judges and officers, slew one of the first, and 
hanged several of the latter on the oaks in his woods, by which he 
forfeited to the crown the lands still known by the name of Tir Meiric 
Llwyd, or the estate of Meiric Lloyd. The rebellion of Owain 
Glyndwr may be adduced as another instance: to which may be 
added the revolt of Sir Griffith Lloyd, of Tregarnedd, who, being 
indignant at the sufferings of his countrymen under the English yoke, 
endeavoured to liberate them from the slavery to which they had 
been reduced, and for a while pursued the invaders with resistless 
impetuosity; but at length he was subdued and taken, and' underwent 
the common fate of the Welsh insurgents. It may be further re- 
marked, that notwithstanding all the ravages of long and barbarous 
wars, Wales remained so populous that Edward drafted out of it no 
less than 15,000 men in aid of his Scottish expedition ; and in the 
3d year of Edward the Second, the barony of Powys sent. 400 men to 
the same war; Rhos and Rhufonio^ (i. e. Denbigh land), 200; Ru- 
th in, 200; Dyffryn Clwyd, 100; Nanheudwy and Glyndyfrdwy, 200; 
Bromfield and Yale, 200; numbers far exceeding the present militia 

The principal lakes in this county are, Llynn Alwen, Llynn Aled, 
and Llynn Moelvre. The chief rivers are, the Dee, the Clwyd, the 
Alwen, Elwy, and the Aled; the two last run into the Clwyd, and 
the former flow into the Dee. 


The county town, is situated on the side of a craggy hill, near the 
beautiful and fertile vale of Clwyd ; but being deserted in the reign 
of Queen Elizabeth, a new town was built on a much larger scale at 
the foot of a hill called by the Britons Cledfryn Rhos. This part of 
the country, as mentioned before, was given by Edward the First to 
David ap Gruffydd, brother to Llewelyn, the last Prince of North 
Wales, who was afterwards beheaded for high treason. It was then 
given to Lacy Earl of Lincoln, who fortified the town with a strong 



wall and Castle : the entrance is ve'ry magnificent, under a gothic arch, 
over which is the statue of the founder, Henry Lacy, in stately flowing 
robes; but his only son being unfortunately drowned in the well of 
this castle, his grief was so great that he left it unfinished. After the 
Earl's death it went by marriage with Alice his daughter into the 
possession of the House of Lancaster. Edward the Second gave 
it to Hugh Spencer. In Edward the Third's reign Roger Mortimer 
became the possessor, and fixed his arms on the chief gate ; and he 
being some time afterwards executed for treason, it went to Montague 
Earl of Salisbury, but was soon afterwards restored to the Mortimers. 
After many changes it came to the House of York, and now belongs 
to the crown. It was delivered up to the parliament army in 1646, 
and appears to have been a place of such strength, that after the 
Restoration it was thought advisable to blow it up : the ruins are 
still to be seen on the summit of a rock, sloping on all but one side, 
which is a precipice. It was built in the year 1280. Charles the 
First resided in it some time. The breaches about this building 
shew that the manner of its construction was by two walls, occupying 
the extremities of the intended thickness, built in the ordinary man- 
ner, with a vacuity between them, in which was poured a mixture of 
mortar and rough stones of all sizes, forming when dry a mass as hard 
as stone itself; the castle was likewise almost impregnable from its 
advantageous situation. About the time of Henry the Third, Adam 
Saliesbury founded and endowed an abbey of Black Monks of the 
Benedictine order, but it is now in ruins. Edward the Fourth was 
besieged in the castle; and in the year 1459, Jasper Tudor, Earl of 
Pembroke, half-brother to Henry the Second, possessed this place. 
In the following year it was taken by the Yorkists ; and in 1468 Jasper 
returned with two thousand Welshmen, and burnt the town. In 
1645 the parliament gained a victory near this town over the royalists; 
but the latter soon after got possession of the castle. It was besieged 
by General Mytton, and gallantly defended by William Salisbury, of 
Bachymbyd : and it is remarkable, that notwithstanding the orders of 
fallen majesty, in June, 1646, for the general surrender of every garri- 
son in England and Wales, on fair and honourable terms, the first 
garrison in North Wales did not yield till two months after all the 
English castles had submitted. 

In the year 1828 the town of Denbigh was honoured with one of 
those national festivals, an Eisteddvod, which was distinguished by 
the display of extraordinary musical and other talent; and from the 
numerous and distinguished company which attended, afforded a 
striking proof of the zealous objects of bardic congresses. The Duke 
of Sussex was present. The President of the meeting was Sir 
Edward Mostyn, Baronet; and the Patrons were the Marquis of 
Anglesey, Earl of Grosvenor, Earl Powis, Earl of Plymouth, Lord 
Bagot, Lord Dungannon, Lord Newborough, Lord Dynevor, Lord 



Olive, Lord Ashley, the Bishops of St. Asaph and Bangor, Sir W. 
W. Wynn, Sir E. P. Lloyd, and Sir Charles Morgan, Barts. The 
Vice-Presidents were fifty-two personages inhabiting Wales, including 
eight Baronets and nine Members of Parliament. 

Humphrey Lhwyd, the historian, was a native of Denbigh ; on 
leaving which we pass through the vale of Dyffryn Clwyd. This is 
in length from north to south 26 miles, and from 5 to 8 broad, 
bounded by high mountains to the east and west, and almost shut up 
by them to the south, except towards the Irish Sea, where it termi- 
nates in a marsh at Rhyddlan. To the natural beauties of this vale 
might justly be added its general aspect of cultivation, most enchant- 
ingly diversified by a mixture of corn and pasture ground, with here 
and there wood lands gently sloping down the declivity of its hills, 
besides being interspersed with churches and pleasant villages, parti- 
cularly those near the river Clwyd, where the land in every part 
swells into a constant variety of inequalities, with numerous inclosures, 
producing an agreeable variety of pasture and arable lands, which in 
beauty almost exceed the natural richness of the soil. Through the 
Clwydian hills is a remarkable pass, called Bwlch Agricola, supposed 
to have been that through which Agricola marched on his way to 
Anglesea. That the Romans were resident in these parts is evident 
from the number of coins found in this parish. In this vale Caradoc 
mentions a dreadful conflict in 1115 between Howel ap Meredith and 
Howel ap Ithel, which, after great slaughter on both sides, ter- 
minated in favour of the latter. David ap Owen, a prince of North 
Wales, in 1164, invaded Flintshire with success, and carried away the 
chief men of the country, and afterwards drove their cattle to Dyffryn 
Clwyd otherwise Ruthinland. 

Whitchurch is situate one mile to the south of Denbigh, and 
contains little worth notice, except Saint Marcellus's church, which 
has many monuments to great persons, particularly to Sir John Salis- 
bury, of Lleweny, who died in 1578; and Richard Myddelton, in 
1575. The latter was governor of Denbigh castle under Edward the 
Sixth, Mary, and Elizabeth, and father of Sir Hugh Myddelton, who 
planned and chiefly at his own expense brought the New River from 
Ware to London. Whitchurch had a house of white friars, founded 
by John Salisbury, who died in 1289, and which stood at the bottom 
of the town. The chapel, though still entire, has long since been 
converted into a barn. 

Llanrhaiadr, or " The Village of the Fountain," is situate on a 
small eminence in the middle of the vale, between Rnthin and Den- 
bigh. The church, which is dedicated to Saint Dyvnog, who lived 
about the close of the sixth century, is rather a handsome structure, 
with a large and elegant east window, remarkable for a fine painting 
of the genealogy of Christ, executed about the year 1533, and con- 
Y 2 


taining all the names of the kings of Israel and Judah up to onr 
Saviour. The Patriarch is represented upon his back, with the 
genealogical tree springing from his stomach. In the churchyard is 
a tomb-stone, with an inscription for John ap Robert, of Perthi, 
a descendant of Cadel, King of Powys, who died in tiie year 1645, at 
the advanced age of 95. Here are some alms-houses for eight poor 
widows, founded by Mrs. Jones, of Llanrhaiadr, in 1729, and each 
has her garden and two shillings a-week. From an eminence in this 
parish, called Cader Gwladus (or Gwladus's Chair), there is a beauti- 
fnl view of the vale between Denbigh and Ruthin, and at the foot of 
this rising ground is Dyvnog's well (Ffynnon Saint Dyvnog). The 
fountain is enclosed in an angular wall, decorated with small human 
figures, and before it is the well for the use of pious bathers. It is 
generally called Llanrhaiadr yn Cynmeirch and Llanrhaiadr yn 
Nyffryn Clwyd, to distinguish it from Llanrhaiadr yn Mochnant. 


Is a large and populous town, most delightfully situated on a consi- 
derable eminence nearly in the centre of the vale of Clwyd. On 
entering the town by the west gate, leading to the water's edge, 
there is a fine picturesque appearance ; a broad street leads to the 
market-house, near which stands the town-hall at right angles with 
the church, which is dedicated to Saint Peter. The latter is a hand- 
some building, with a monument and bust of Gabriel Goodman, 
Dean of Westminster, who died in 1601 ; also a cross for his father,^ 
who died in 1560, aged 84, and his mother, aged 90. John, son of 
Reginald de Grey, made this church collegiate in 1310, for seven 
regulars. Adjoining the church were the apartments of the priests ; 
part of which building has been repaired, and serves as the mansion 
of the warden : but the tower of the church is clearly of a later date. 
The tomb or monument which Churchyard calls that of an Earl of 
Kent was probably the burial-place of John, son of Reginald de 
Grey. Leland mentions a house of white friars in this town, which 
stood probably in Prior's Street, but there are now no remains. 
Here was a hospital and free-school, founded by the Goodmans; the 
latter is still in great repute, and has, much to its honour, produced 
some of the first classical scholars in the kingdom. Of its castle, 
north of the town, only a few foundations of walls and the fragments 
of one or two towers remain, which, from the great thickness, mani- 
fest original strength. The stones used in building it are red, whence 
it has been called Rhudd Ddin. The area of the castle is now a 
meadow, and another part a bowling-green. The castle and town- 
walls are supposed to have been built by Reginald de Grey, to whom 
Edward the First, in 1281, gave nearly the whole of Dyffryn Clwyd, 
for his active services against the Welsh. It was afterwards sold to 
Henry the Seventh, but being neglected, soon fell into decay. At 



present the east walls built within the town and its principal f- ont on 
the west are nearly entire, with a gate, square tower, and battlements. 
On this and the south side were formerly five handsome round towers, 
which were well garrisoned in the civil wars for the king, but surren- 
dered to General My tton in 1645, after a siege of two months; and 
in the same year was dismantled by order of parliament. In the act 
of revenge on Lord Grey, Owain Glyndwr, in 1400, during a fair, 
set fire to the town, and destroyed the greater part, except the effects 
of the merchants, of which Glyndwr, having plundered them, took 
possession, and retired among the mountains. Dr. Gabriel Goodman 
assisted in the English version of the Bible, and translated the first 
and second Epistles to the Corinthians. He also was the patron of 
the great Camden, who, by his means, was enabled to take those 
travels by which the British nation has so much profited. 

Near Ruthin is the neat little village of Ffynnon Saint Dyvnog, 
remarkable for its well, to which we pass (through the churchyard) 
by an alms-house to a plantation of trees, with a broad gravelled 
walk almost concealed from day-light by thick foliage. Within this 
place is the fountain, enclosed in an angular wall, forming a bath of 
considerable size. Many wonderful qualities are attributed to this 
water, but it is more particularly celebrated for curing the rheuma- 
tism. At this place was formerly a chapel, dedicated to Saint 
Dyvnog; in the lower part of which were some images of the twelve 

About three miles east of Ruthin is Llanarmon yn Yale (the church 
of which is dedicated to Saint Garmon), a considerable village, 
to which great pilgrimages were formerly made with offerings to 
Saint Garmon. In the church is a monument, inscribed " Hicjacet 
Gruffydd Llewelyn ap Ynyr," with five bloody fingers on his shield, 
and a dog at his feet, carved on the lid of a stone coffin. In this 
parish are many tumuli, some composed of loose stones and earth, 
under a layer of soil two feet thick and a coat of clay. In these 
tumuli were discovered several urns reversed, and a flat stone without 
urns, besides considerable fragments of burnt bones. An entire 
skeleton, placed between flags of a proportionate size, was also found 
in or near one of these carneddau. 

At the distance of about 15 miles is Wrexham, to which we pass 
through the village of Llandegla, the church of which is dedicated to 
Tecla, a female saint whose history is not known. Near the church 
is a small spring, under the tutelage of the saint, which is considered 
efficacious in the falling-sickness, called by the Welsh <s Clwy Tecla" 
(Tecla's disease). It is pleasantly situated on the banks of the 


Is a populous market town, and from its size and consequence not 
improperly denominated the metropolis of North Wales: the build- 


ings are in general good, and the country around it very beautiful* 
which has induced many families to fix their residence in its vicinity. 
It appears to have been a place of great antiquity, being well-known 
to the Saxons by the name of Wrightsham or Gwrecsam. The 
church, dedicated to Saint Giles, according to Leland, formerly col- 
legiate, is an elegant structure, 178 feet in length from east to west, 
and 62 from north to south; the tower, dated 1506, is to the top of 
the pinnacle 135 feet, and 22 square, adorned on three sides with 
rows of 25 statues of saints, placed in rich gothic niches. Among 
them is Saint Giles, the patron saint, with the hind which, according 
to the legend, miraculously nourished him in the desert. The south 
is unusually low, with an entrance, called the wedding door. The 
organ was destroyed in 1641. The inside of the church is very 
spacious, having over the pillars much grotesque carving, and 
over the arches the arms of many of the British and Saxon princes. 
It is not, however, loaded with carving as many gothic churches are, 
but is plain and kept extremely neat. Here are two good monuments, 
the work of Roubiliac ; the one, in memory of Mary, daughter of Sir 
Richard Myddelton, of Chirk Castle, who died in 1747, is particu- 
larly fine. She is represented bursting from the tomb, and with a 
countenance truly angelic, in which the mixture of surprise and 
admiration is so finely and strongly expressed, that it is almost 
possible to fancy it more than stone. In the back-ground an ancient 
pyramid, falling to pieces, is excellently represented ; and the whole 
must afford delight to every admirer of fine sculpture. The other 
monuments are to the memory of the Reverend Thomas Myddelton 
and Arabella his wife; opposite to the former is a recumbent figure of 
Hugh Bellot, Bishop of Bangor, who died in 1596. Under the 
belfry is an antique monument, found about a century ago in digging 
a foundation for iron gates to the church-yard ; it represents a knight 
in complete armour, with his foot resting on some kind of animal, his 
legs extended, and a long sword parallel with them, the hilt in the 
right hand; on the left arm is a shield with a lion or wolf rampant, 
and round it some large Saxon characters, not legible on account of 
its dark situation under the staircase. The altar piece (a fine paint- 
ing representing the institution of the sacrament) was brought from 
Rome, and given to the church by Elihu Yale, Esq. of Plas Gronow, 
near Erddig, who was interred in the church -yard in 1726, aged 75 
years, with the following inscription on his tomb:^ 

Born in America, in Europe bred, ^ 

In Afric travell'd, and in Asia wed, 
Where long he lived and thriv'd In London dead.> 
Much good, some ill he did ; so hope all's even, 
And that his soul, thro* mercy's gone to heaven. 
You that survive and read this tale take care, 
For this most certain exit to prepare. 
When blest in peace, the actions of the just 
Smell sweet, and blossom in the silent dust. 

The above describes an uncommon diversity of fortune attending 



an individual, contains a modest confession, and breathes the proper 
moral sentiment of a memento mori. This gentleman was a native of 
America, who went out as an adventurer to the East Indies, and 
found his speculation, if not to answer his most sanguine wishes, far 
exceed the probabilities of advancement in his favour. He obtained 
the Presidency of Madras, and appears to have ruled the colony with 
most oppressive authority. An anecdote, illustrative of his arbitrary 
disposition, is recorded in a way that possesses the authenticity which 
gives it irrefragable proof. His groom having rode out a favourite 
Jiorse two or three days for the purposes of airing and exercising, 
without iirst obtaining leave to authorize his so doing, the governor 
.caused him peremptorily to be hanged up, for daring to use such a 
supposed discretionary power. For this murder he was ordered to 
return to England, and having been tried for the crime, by some 
undetected outlet of the Jaw he escaped the punishment of death, 
and only suffered a heavy pecuniary fine. Hp was also remarkable 
for his auctions. The first of these was about the year 1700. He 
had brought such quantities of goods from India, that finding no 
one house large enough to stow them in, he had a public sale for the 
overplus; and that was the first auction of the kind in England.* 
The present church, except the tower, was finished before 1472, the 
former building having been destroyed by fire; but the tower, accord- 
ing to the date upon it, was completed in the year 1506. In 1647, 
during the civil wars, the church was made a prison by Cromwell, in 
which several of the committee-men of the Royalists were confined, by 
ihe parliament soldiers. There are two chapels attached to this 
tvicarage,- Minera or Mwyn Glawdd, so called from its situation on 
Offa's Dyke, and Berse or Bersham. The principal fair here com- 
mences on March 23, and continues nine days, and is frequented by 
traders from almost all parts of the kingdom. The commodities 
brought by the Welsh are chiefly flannel, linen, and linen-woolsey. 
Tradesmen from other parts bring Irish linen, YorKshire and woollen 
cloths, Manchester goods, and Birmingham manufactures of all 
kinds. In the neighbourhood are several iron foundries anil manu- 
factories of military instruments. 

On leaving Wrexham we proceed in a south-westerly direction, 
and at the distance of about one mile pass on the right to Erddig, 
the seat of Philip Yorke, Esq. bounded by two little vallies, well 
wooded and watered. The approach to Erddig is through a fine 
wood, overhanging the banquetting room, which is placed on the 
edge of a murmuring brook : the skirts of a large verdant meadow of 
peculiar richness and beauty, the walks through the wood,, and round 
the banquetting room, are traced out with distinguished taste and 
elegance, but infinitely inferior to the works of nature about Ruabon. 
Wat's Dyke is the most distinguished remains of antiquity in the 


* Gent. Mag. March, 1820. 


district, and runs along one side of the bank between the vales and 
the extremity, and impending over them are several intrenchments, 
particularly one of the pentagon form, and beyond it a green mount; 
these compose what is called the Roman fort, though no coins or 
other pieces of antiquity have ever been found here or contiguous. 
Some fragments of a w r all cemented with mortar yet remain, and 
some traditional accounts, which are the only evidences in support of 
the assertion, are very dubious to the antiquary, if not entirely disbe- 

At the distance of five miles from Wrexham we pass through 
RUABON, Rhiwabon, or Rhiw-Vabon, a pleasant village, situate on 
a small eminence, and around which are the residences of several 
gentlemen of fortune. The church, which is dedicated to Saint 
Mary, is a very antique building, with a good organ, given by the 
late Sir W. W. Wynn. It has also several monuments, particularly 
an ancient table of marble with two recumbent figures, having round 
its edge an obsolete Latin inscription for John ap Ellis Eyton and his 
wife, Mho died in 1524 and 1526. There are likewise four other 
marble monuments for the following persons: Henry Wynn, of 
Wynnstay, Esq. who died in 1718; Sir W. W. Wynn, Bart. 1749; 
Lady H. Wynn, the wife of Sir Watkin ; and one to the late possessor 
of Wynnstay, which is very handsome. Dr. Powell, the celebrated 
Welsh historian and antiquary, who translated into English the 
Chronicle of Caradoc of Llancarvan, was instituted to the vicarage 
in the year 1571: he died in 1590, and is here buried. In this 
parish are considerable collieries. Near this is a great caer, called 
the Carthen, i. e. Caer Ddin, situate near the summit of a hill, and 
containing about four acres of ground. Within the area are many 
vestiges of buildings, the habitations of the old possessors. A fierce 
battle was fought near this place, between Owain Cyfeiliog, Prince of 
Powys, and the English, attended with victory to the ancient Britons; 
which gave rise to a beautiful poem, called Hirlas Owain, or " The 
Drinking Horn of Owain," composed by the prince himself. " The 
best wood of Bromfield," says Leland, " is in Rhuabon, a big parish, 
by part whereof cometh the Dee river." 

In this parish is Wynnstay, the magnificent seat of Sir Watkin 
Williams Wynn, Bart, but anciently that of Madoc ap Gruffydd 
Maelor, founder of Valle Crucis Abbey, near Llangollen. The 
former name of this house was Ruabon: it was the property of 
Edward Eyton, Esq. whose daughter Mary, the heiress, married 
Richard Evans, Esq. son of Thomas Evans, Esq. of Oswestry, 
Attorney-General in the Court of the Marches. Their grandson, 
Eyton Evans, son of Thomas, son of Richard, altered the name to 
Watstay, on account of its situation on Wat's Dyke; and Jane, sole 
daughter and heiress of Eyton Evans, married Sir John Wynn, who 
again changed the name to Wynnstay, in compliment to his own 



family (Gwydir), he being grandson of Sir John Wynn, of the house 
of Gwydir, by his tenth son Henry, Representative for the comity of 
Merioneth. The above Sir John Wynn, of Wynnstay left that and 
other estates of great value to his kinsman, the first Sir Watkin 
Williams Wynn, grandson of Sir William Williams, of Glascoed, 
Speaker of the House of Commons in the time of Charles the Second. 
Sir William Williams, his father, married the heiress of Plas y Ward 
and Garthgynan, grand-daughter to his uncle, William Wynn, of 
Garthgynan, fifth son of Sir John Wynn, of Gwydir. Wynnstay 
consists of an old mansion deficient in uniformity., having been erected 
at different times and in different styles of architecture, pleasantly 
situated on a rising ground, in a good park, well wooded, and stocked 
with a quantity of red deer. Part of the present structure appears to 
have been built in the sixteenth century, by Sir John Wynn, and a 
part erected by the late Sir Watkin : the whole has undergone consi- 
derable improvement by the present worthy possessor. In the park 
is a handsome column 100 feet high, the base of which is 16, and the 
top 9 feet, built with free-stone and fluted. Round the top is formed 
a gallery with a handsome urn in bronze, after an elegant design, cast 
in London. The base of the column has round it wreaths of oak 
leaves in the beaks of four eagles, cast in the same metal; on the 
south-west side is a door, with a staircase leading to the gallery at 
top, which affords an extensive prospect, but by no means beautiful. 
On three sides are carved an appropriate inscription, in English, 
Welsh, and Latin. Near the old house is a good turnpike road, 
about two miles, on a bank called Clawdd On%, or Ofta's Dyke, 
thrown up as a boundary between the Saxons and Britons in 761. 
It is ten feet high, and broad enough to admit two carriages for a 
long space of ground, called Llwybyr-y-Gath, or the Cat's Path. 
Near it is a remarkable tumulus and fine view of the river Dee. Sir 
Watkin is Lord Lieutenant and Gustos Rotulorum for the Counties 
of Denbigh and Merioneth, and Member of Parliament for the former 
county; he is also President of the Welsh Charity School in London, 
and has acquired a considerable degree of popularity from his coun- 
trymen by his liberal patronage of Welsh literature. He likewise 
raised a regiment of horse, which volunteered their services with 
their gallant commander to quell the rebellion in Ireland, and again 
tendered their services during the French war to any part of the 
continent. William Williams, of Chwaen Issa, in Anglesea, Esq. 
lineal ancestor of Sir Watkin, was the fourteenth in lineal descent 
from Cadrod Hardd (or the handsome), a British chieftain, who 
resided at Tremadoc, in the parish of Llanfaithley, and was lord of 
Talybolion about the year 1100. Sir William Williams, the first 
baronet, was a barrister, and Recorder of Chester, which city he 
represented in three parliaments, in the two latter of which he was 
chosen Speaker, in the 36th of Charles the Second. He was tried 



for a libel, in causing to be printed the information of Thomas 
Dangerfield, Gent. ; and though he pleaded the law and custom of 
parliament in his favour, the court fined him ten thousand pounds 
tor licensing the said information to be printed, eight thousand 
pounds of which he was obliged to pay. Roger North attributes the 
severity of this fine to the resentment of Jefferies, who had been 
reprimanded on his knees at the bar of the House of Commons by 
Williams when Speaker. After the Revolution this judgment was 
declared illegal, and against the freedom of parliament. Sir William 
was one of the most eminent lawyers of his time, and appears, by the 
debates and state trials, to have been the active and zealous advocate 
of the popular party in the reign of Charles the Second, but was after- 
wards made (by James the Second) Solicitor-General, and knighted 
in 1687, and was in 1688 created a Baronet. Soon after the Revolu- 
tion he was appointed one of the king's counsel. The last public act 
of his life was the introduction of the act for the preventing charge 
and expense in the election of members, commonly called the 
" Treating Act," which still continues one of the principal safeguards 
of the independence and purity of parliament. There is an excellent 
likeness of Sir William Williams in the town-hall of Chester. The 
present baronet married a daughter of the ancient House of Powys ; 
and report says " he brings up his children to speak the Welsh 
language," an example worthy of imitation. 

Llanrwst has its church dedicated to Saint Grwst, but according to 
Mr. Pennant to Saint Reisted or Restitutus, who was Bishop of 
London about the year 360. Adjoining the church is a chapel, built 
in the year 1633 by Sir Richard Wynn, of Gwydir, from a design of 
Inigo Jones. Against the wall at the west end of the latter are five 
brass plates, chiefly remarkable for the excellence of their execution, 
by Silvanus Crew and William Vaughan (who is pronounced to be 
the best engraver); each, besides an inscription, contains a portrait of 
the person to whose memory it was erected, as under : Sarah Wynn, 
wife of Sir Richard,* who died in 1671; Sir John Wynn, 1626; 
Sydney Wynn his wifef, 1632; Owen Wynn, 1660; Mary, his wife, 
1653. To this chapel has lately been removed an ancient monument 
of Howel Coytmor, which used to lay in the church under the stairs 
leading to the gallery. It is an armed recumbent figure, with his 
foot resting upon a lion, and this inscription, " Hie jacet Howel 
Coytmor ap Gruffydd Vychan ap Gruffydd, Arm." Near this place 
is a large stone coffin, supposed to have been that of Llewelyn ap 
lorwerth, who was interred in the abbey of Conway in 1240, but 
removed here upon the dissolution of that monastery, about the 26th 
of Henry the Eighth. There are no other monuments deserving of 
notice, except one, which has a long and curious inscription, contain- 

* He attended Charles the First to Spain in 1623, and of this expedition has given an 
interesting description in some of his letters to his father, which have been published, 
f She was the daughter of Sir William Gerrard, Chancellor of Ireland. 


ing a pedigree of the Wynn family from Owain Gwynedd to Sir 
Richard Wynn. Between the town arid Gwydir is an elegant bridge 
thrown over the Con way, constructed in 1636 by the ingenious Inigo 
Jones, who was a native of this place, and it was at that period 
considered one of the wonders of Wales. 

About four miles to the south of Llanrwst is Gwytherin. The 
church is dedicated to Saint Gwytherin ; but according to Ecton's 
Thesaurus Gwytherin is dedicated to Saint James, and according to 
others to Saint Elerius. It is celebrated for the honour of having 
first received the remains of Saint Winifred after her second death ; 
for, according to the fabulous legend, her head was miraculously fixed 
on by Saint Beuno after it had been cut off by that wicked prince 
Caradoc. On the decease of Saint Beuno she was warned by a voice 
to call on Saint Deiver at Bodvari; by Saint Deiver she was 
directed to go to Saint Saturnus at Henllan ; and by Saint Saturnus 
to seek a final retreat with Saint Elerius at Gwytherin ; but even here 
her body had no rest, for the monk in a dream was admonished to 
carry her remains to Shrewsbury. Previous to her death, it is said, 
that she succeeded the abbess Theonia as governess at this place : in 
the church is shewn a chest where her relics were kept. Here is 
also an ancient gravestone, with a cross and chalice (the last denoting 
the priestly office of the deceased), bearing the words " Hie jacet 
Lowarch mab Cadell." 

At the distance of eight miles from Llanrwst is Capel Voelas. In 
this chapelry is a great column, with an inscription, in memory of 
Llewelyn ap Seitsyllt, who was slain in 1021. Here is also a vast 
mount, the site of a Welsh castle, which was destroyed by Llewelyn 
the Great. At Tre'r Beddau, near Pentre Voelas, in making the new 
line of road about the year 1820, the workmen discovered a cistvaen 
or stone coffin, on the lid of which was the following inscription: 
" Brochmael Leia hie jacet et Uxor ejus Canne." , 

About five miles beyond Capel Voelas we arrive' at Ysbytty leuan 
(Hospitium Sancti Johannis). The church is dedicated to Saint 
John the Baptist. It is a small village about three miles below 
Llyn Conway. This was once a hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, 
and a manor belonging to the knights of that order; and was also 
their sanctuary until their abolition, when it became the residence of 
thieves and murderers, who committed great cruelties in the county, 
but were afterwards extirpated by the bravery and prudence of 
Meredydd ap Evan, in the reign of Henry the Seventh, as previously 
mentioned. In the church are monuments of Rhys ap Meredith, who 
was appointed, by Henry the Seventh, Standard-bearer at the battle 
of Bosworth ; likewise another for his wife Lowry; and a third for his 
son Robert, Cross-bearer and Chaplain to Cardinal Wolsey. There 
is also another to Maurice Gethin ap Robert Gethin, who departed 
14th June, 1598, and Ann Gethin, who d-parted May 24th, 1598. 



In the parish of Llangernyw (the church of which is dedicated to 
Saint Digain, or according to some to Saint Gernyw) is Havodunos, a 
very ancient family seat. This house was founded by Bleddyn, son of 
Bleddyn Vychan, a descendant of Gwrgi, third son of HeddMolwynog; 
from whom many of the Lloyds of North Wales are descended. 

In the parish of Abergeley or Abergelau (the church of which is 
dedicated to Saint Michael), on one of the lime-stone hills, isCoppa'r 
Wylva, a strong British post. In this parish is Bryn Ffanigle, once 
the residence of Marchudd ap Cynan, head of one of the fifteen 
tribes, and afterwards of his descendant, Ednyved Vychan, Minister 
and General to Llewelyn the Great. 

Cerrig y Druidion (the stones of the Druids), or Llanvair Vagdalen 
(Saint Mary Magdalene), has its church dedicated to Saint Mary 
Magdalene. The large stones from which this place is supposed to 
have taken its name have been removed many years, and the descrip- 
tion given of them by Mr. Pennant w r as taken from the Annotator on 
Cumden : the largest, it appears, was a fine specimen of the British 
cistvaen, or stone chest (sarcophagus) ; the top stone was about ten 
feet long, and the supporters about 7 feet each. This monument was 
also distinguished by the name of Carchar Cynrig Rwth, who is 
represented as a great tyrant, and was said to have placed those 
who offended him in the hollow of these stones. At Giler, in this 
parish, was born that upright and able judge Robert Price, Esq. one 
of the Barons of the Exchequer, and who strenuously opposed the 
grant of the Welsh lordships to the Earl of Portland in the reign of 
William the Third. 

CHIRK, alias Y Waun, alias Llanvair, or Waun Isav (the church of 
which is dedicated to Saint Mary), is situate about six miles east of 
Llangollen, on the brow of a hill, and carries on a considerable 
trade in coals. The Ellesmere canal passes within half-a-mile of this 
village, and is carried over the river and the vale of Ceiriog by a long 
aqueduct, somewhat similar to that over the Dee at Pontycysyllte, 
but on a narrower scale. Within half-a-mile is Chirk castle, which, 
like Powys, still retains a mixture of the castle and mansion. It is 
supposed to stand not far from the site of Castle Crogen, which was 
the property of the lords of Dinas Bran, and situate on the summit of 
a high hill, commanding an extensive view into 17 counties. The 
river Ceiriog runs below the castle to the west and south, giving name 
to the vale, which was guarded by two mounts, still remaining on 
each side of the road through the valley, but rendered more remark- 
able as being the place where the famous battle of Crogen was fought 
in 1165, when Henry the Second made a most inglorious retreat 
from Owain Gwynedd. This place is still called Adwy'r Beddau, or 
passage of the graves. The external parts of Chirk castle retain 
much of its antique aspect, being a square building with four towers 
one at each corner, and a fifth in the front, of nearly 50 feet each, 



which give the whole a clumsy and heavy appearance. Within is an 
elegant court 165 feet long and 100 broad, with a handsome colon- 
nade on each side. The dungeon, down a flight of 42 steps, is said 
to have been as deep as the walls are high. The chief apartments 
are a saloon 56 feet by 27, and a drawing room within, and gallery 
100 feet by 22, in which are many fine paintings of the family; also 
of the Duke of Ormond and his son Lord Ossory ; the Countess of 
Warwick, daughter of Sir Thomas Myddelton, and Dowager to 
Edward Rich, Earl of Warwick, afterwards wife to Mr. Addison, and 
the reputed cause of his intemperance. 

After the death of Gruffydd ap Madog, Chirk Castle became part 
of the possessions of Roger Mortimer, son of Roger, Baron of Wig- 
more. The present castle is believed to be the work of the said 
Roger Mortimer, who died in the Tower, after an imprisonment of 
four years by Edward the First. On the death of Mortimer it 
reverted to the crown, and was then granted to Fitz-Alan, Earl of 
Arundel. Some assert that it was sold by John, grandson of Roger 
of Wigmore, and afterwards passed to Thomas Mowbray, Duke of 
Norfolk, Justice of North Wales, Chester, and Flint, in right of his 
wife Elizabeth, elder sister to Thomas Earl of Arundel, but was 
again resumed by the crown, and granted to William Beauchamp, 
Earl of Abergavenny. Henry the Eighth bestowed it on his natural 
son, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond and Somerset. In the 
following reign it was granted to Thomas Lord Seymour, brother to 
the Protector Somerset, and ultimately granted by Queen Elizabeth 
to her favourite, the Earl of Leicester, and on his death became the 
property of Lord Fitz-John, of Bletso, whose son, in 1595, sold it to 
Sir Thomas Myddelton, Lord May or of London, in a branch of whose 
family it still continues. Sir Thomas Hanmer was governor thereof 
in the time of Charles the First. 

According to a paper, communicated by John Myddelton to the 
Society of Antiquarians, the castle of Chirk was begun in 1011, and 
finished in 1013. When Sir Thomas Myddelton in the civil wars 
withdrew from the parliament cause this castle was besieged, and one 
side with three of its towers were thrown down, and again rebuilt in 
one year at the expense of 80,000. The entrance is now between 
two round towers, by a narrow arch near the centre of the front, 
which had formerly a pair of iron gates, wrought in so rich and costly 
a style as to be honoured with the appellation of one of the wonders of 
the county. On the road side, surrounded by the high lands belong- 
ing to Chirk Castle, is Saint Peter's Well, formerly walled, and a 
bason erected, into which the water issued forth ; but at present the 
well is disused, and the bason in bad repair. This well was in great 
repute for its medicinal qualities about the year 1726. 

To the south of Chirk is Llanrhaiadr-yn-Mochant, the church of 
which is dedicated to Saint Dogvan, who lived about the middle of 



the fifth century. It is a small village, partly in this county and 
partly in Montgomeryshire, situate in a deep hollow, surrounded on 
all sides by mountains with summits frequently nearly obscured by 
clouds. The celebrated Dr. Morgan, who translated the Bible into 
Welsh, was vicar of this place, but was soon afterwards rewarded by 
Queen Elizabeth with the b